Cao, HHS girls in contention at state

Jags’ Nolen in second place after first round, but well behind leader

Mirror report
The Heritage High School girls' golf team was within four shots of the team lead following Monday's first round of the University Interscholastic League state tournament at Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle. Heritage's Kodi Nolen was in second place among individuals first a first-round score of 73. The tournament was scheduled to conclude on Tuesday.

Midlothian senior Tiffany Cao and the Heritage High School girls’ golf team both entered Tuesday’s final round of their respective University Interscholastic League golf tournaments within sight of state championships.

The Jaguars’ team of Kodi Nolen, Maddie Sanders, Trinity Conard, Cate Swize and Brynlea Caldwell was sitting four shots out of the team lead following Monday’s first-round action at the Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle. The second and final round was scheduled for Tuesday.

Nolen was in second place among individual golfers after shooting a 73 in Monday’s first round, but trailed Carrollton Ranchview’s Bohyun Park by six strokes. Sanders was close behind with a 76, with Conard’s 83, Swize’s 87 and Caldwell’s 91 rounding out the team score.

Argyle led at the end of the first round with a team total of 315 strokes, followed by Lampasas at 317 and Heritage at 219. Andrews was in fourth place at 326. HHS’ showing represents a 27-shot improvement over the first round two years ago, when the Jags placed third.

The Jags won the Class 4A Region II championship on April 22 at Van Zandt Country Club. Nolen finished second, Sanders third and Conard sixth overall to lead the way. All three are juniors.

At district, all five HHS golfers earned first-team all-district awards as the Jags won their fifth consecutive district golf championship (with COVID-19 nixing a chance for a sixth in 2020).

Meanwhile, Cao finished Monday’s round of the Class 5A girls’ state tournament at White Wing Golf Club in Georgetown on a crowded leaderboard with five golfers within two shots of the lead.

Cao wrapped up the first round with a 2-under-par 70, tied for third place with Julia Vollmer of San Antonio Alamo Heights and Remington Isaac of Montgomery and two strokes behind co-leaders Summer Lee of Frisco Lebanon Trail and Mason Lewis of Granbury, who each carded a 68.

Cao dominated the field to win the Class 5A Region II tournament on April 20, qualifying for state as an individual medalist. At the District 14-5A tournament at Southern Oaks on March 29-30, Cao shot a career-low 8-under-par 64 on the first day and even made a hole-in-one on No. 3 en route to the district crown.

HHS’ Young state-bound

Junior Jaelee Young of Heritage High School will take on Brooke Runyan of Devine in the Class 4A girls’ singles quarterfinals next Thursday, May 20, at the UIL state tennis tournament. Young will be the only Ellis County tennis representative at state.

Young won girls’ singles championships on April 14 at the District 11-4A tournament and on April 27 at the Class 4A Region II tournament. The HHS boys’ doubles team of Gabe Bell and Nate Sandidge narrowly missed a state tournament berth of their own, finishing third at regionals.

Young won 17 matches in the 2020 fall season and was named girls’ district Most Valuable Player.