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Salisbury sits on the brink of its third-straight state 1A/2A championship in girls golf after a convincing first day at Longleaf Golf and Country Club in Southern Pines.
The Hornets finished with three of the top five scores for a 233, 34 shots ahead of second-place Croatan.
“Every one of the girls played well,” SHS coach Dale Snyder said. “Each of them would say they left a few shots out there, but hey, we got a 34-shot lead.”
Back-to-back individual state champion Isabella Rusher resides in second with a 75, one shot behind leader Annika Winebarger of Elkin. Winebarger is a Catawba recruit. Rusher shot 37 on the front nine and 38 on the back nine.
“She had a tough time on No. 10 when she got a seven,” Snyder said. “She had a good front nine.”
Salisbury’s Madeline Hoskins is tied for third and four shots back with a 78. Hoskins won the tennis state championship in individual doubles play on Saturday in Cary. Hoskins usually finished third behind Yatawara and Rusher during the season but overcame a tough ninth hole to find herself in contention for the individual crown.
“For Madeline to do what she did two days off a state championship in tennis, I’m so proud of her,” Snyder said.
Croatan’s Leann Domitrovits also shot 78. Rusher will play in a group with Winebarger and Domitrovits today.
“It’s really good for Isabella to play with them,” Snyder said. “They’ll challenge her.”
Grace Yatawara shot 80 after a tough final nine holes. Yatawara won the regional last week and is still in the hunt six shots behind. Yatawara finished third individually last year as a freshman.
“Grace was leading us for a while but she had some bogeys late,” Snyder said.
Shelby Holden shot a 100 for the Hornets after breaking 50 on the front side.
“I’m super proud of Shelby,” Snyder said. “She set a goal to break 100 and she’s right there on it.”
The Hornets won last year’s title at Foxfire Golf Club in Pinehurst and at Longleaf in 2011. Rusher (11 a.m.), Hoskins (10:50), Yatawara (10:40) and Holden (10) all tee off on Hole 1 today. Elkin (267) and Gray Stone (270) were third and fourth.

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