In his first four seasons as head girls coach at Great Bend High School, Troy Stein has had at least one golfer qualify for the Class 5A state meet in each of the last three campaigns.
On Monday, Stein will be accompanying two state qualifiers to Hays in first-timer McKenna Mauler, a sophomore, and Maddie Werth, a junior, who is going for the second straight season.
“This year, I’m a lot more confident because No. 1, I’ve been there before and No. 2, because we’ve played the course before,” Werth said.
Werth overcame a freak back injury to qualify for the state meet at a regional at Salina Municipal last Monday.
“Maddie started out solid and then she got hurt,” Stein said of Werth’s back woes, which prevented her from competing in a couple tournaments. “The regionals were only her second time back and I was pleased with the way she came back and handled the adversity.”
Mauler was a medalist at the regional meet, taking home ninth place.
“I’m excited for Maddie and myself that we’re going,” Mauler said. “I had the best round of my season (at the regional meet) and tied with two other girls for ninth place. We had a playoff and I won in three holes.
“I had wanted to medal all season.”
Stein says the key for Mauler’s success is her putting.
“When she putts well, she can do really good,” Stein said of Mauler. “She hits the ball really well and her short game has gotten better as the year has gone on and I think that’s helped her lower her scores.”