For the first time ever, Union City High School is sending a team to the state golf tournament.
The balanced UC girls threesome of Alli Kate Frilling, Mimi Jenkins and Adeline Rice made program history Monday by winning the Region 7A Tournament championship and qualifying for next week’s state tourney in Sevierville.
The Lady Tornadoes shot a 186 – outdistancing runner-up South Gibson County by nine strokes – to earn their way into the elite field. The eight regional champions from Class 1A, along with several other individuals to qualify, will gather at the Sevierville Golf Club next Monday and Tuesday for a two-day event to determine state champions.
While Union City’s two programs have seen a handful of individuals qualify for the biggest stage in recent years, next week will mark the first time a team sporting the Purple and Gold has made the cut.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment for our girls,” a happy UC head coach Jason Qualls said after the results were finalized. “Especially when you consider our youth, to handle the difficult playing conditions they did today and remained focused was just outstanding.
“What excites me the most is that I believe our best golf is still ahead of us. The experience we’ll gain at the state tournament will be priceless, and I truly believe we can go there and be good representation of our school, our program and our area.”
As was the case last week when Union City’s closely-bunched trio won the district title, the trio of Frilling-Jenkins-Rice was separated by just a few strokes in claiming the regional crown.
Frilling posted the Lady Tornadoes’ best score for the second time in as many postseason events, carding a 92. Both Jenkins and Rice came in with 94s.
Individually, Frilling was second overall, beaten by only two strokes by match medalist Maddie Gray of South Fulton. Rice edged Jenkins in a two-hole playoff to claim third place.
McKenzie and Gibson County both came in at 215 to tie for third in the team standings.