TRAVERSE CITY — Glen Lake is headed back to the Division IV state golf championships.
This time with freshman Nichole Cox.
Cox earned medalist honors with a 79 Wednesday as the Lakers placed second in the regional at Manistee National. Harbor Springs won the title with a 351. Glen Lake came in at 374. Grayling edged Ludington by one stroke, 380 to 381, for the third and final qualifying spot.
In the Division I regional at Stonewater Country Club in Kentwood, Traverse City West finished fourth, four points behind Rockford for the last qualifying spot. Sisters Taylor and Hunter Kehoe, however, qualified for the state finals as individuals.
Glen Lake, meanwhile, advanced to the state finals for the first time in school history last October when the Lakers placed second with a 404. Glen Lake was 30 shots better Wednesday, but it still turned into an anxious afternoon for coach Paul Christiansen.
"After nine holes we were in good shape," Christiansen said. "We were at 176. I thought, 'Wow, we're playing our best round of the year. We're doing really well.' But then we came back with a much higher second nine. At that point, I was worried if we would even be in the top three."
Cox and her teammates put those worries to rest.
Cox shot a 39 on the front nine, a 40 on the back to gain medalist honors. A birdie on 17 allowed her to pull away from Farwell's Bria Colosky, who finished with an 81.
"She played consistent golf," Christiansen said. "She missed a couple putts, but yet had some nice recoveries, too. That's a big deal to be medalist as a freshman."
It was Cox's third round under 80 this season.
Melanie Kulanda fired a 92, Nicole Pace 96 and Madison Hill 107 for the Lakers. Kulanda birdied the first hole and finished her front nine at 43. Pace went 48-48.