"You don't let bad weather affect you. But you can't ignore it, either."
The Saline girls' varsity golf team put head coach Betsy French's words to the test Wednesday at the MHSAA Division 1 regional at Pineview Golf Course. As a result, they're headed to the state finals Oct. 19-20 at Forest Akers in East Lansing.
The girls fought through strong wind gusts, hail and cold temperatures and shot a 349, good for second place behind Plymouth (330).
"We came in here with the goal of advancing, so I'm pleased that we accomplished that," said French. "I thought the girls golfed well considering the conditions. I really liked the way they thought the game. I saw a lot of good mental golf today."
Saline was led once again by junior Emily White, who shot a 78, good for second place. White wasn't pleased with her game Wednesday, but she's glad she and the team are moving on.
"I'm not happy with my putting and I don't think I hit the ball really well today. But I'm excited that the team is going to the state finals. That was our goal all year," White said.
French said that White, an all-state golfer last year, has done a good job filling the shoes of all-state golfer Karla Gross.
"She really stepped up and took the number one job. She's steady, which is what you want from your number one," French said. "She golfs with the best golfers in the state and she goes toe-to-toe with them."
Freshman Samantha Kellstrom continued her solid rookie season by firing an 87. Stacy Cruze was right behind her with an 89.
"Samantha has had a really nice season. She has a lot to learn still and will continue to develop. But she's already an important part of our team. She and Stacy have been going back and forth with as our number two and three golfers. It's a health competition. They both understand that they just need to go out and play well," French said.
Louisa Antonelli shot a 95 and Lauren Rasmussen was at 103.