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Beehner 14th at PIAA tourney

| Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 8:57 p.m.

Gateway freshman Johnna Beehner capped off her first varsity golf season alongside the best in the state Monday and Tuesday at the PIAA Class AAA girls golf championships at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center in York.

Beehner finished the two-day, 36-hole tournament in 14th place out of a field of 18 golfers and carded a total of 169 (84-85).

She played the front nine first both days, and she had her best stretch of the tournament over the first nine holes on Monday. Beehner carded a 40 (4 over) through those nine holes and finished day one tied for 14th.

“Johnna feels like she could've done better, but she handled (her first state tournament) well,” Gateway head coach Dennis Persin said.

“(States) is a different environment. There are a lot of mental and physical challenges. There's also a lot of people there watching.

“She made some mistakes, but she will learn from them. An 84 and an 85 are respectable scores. I liked the way she handled any adversity she faced over the two days.”

Two hours of rain Tuesday challenged the golfers, and Erica Herr, a junior from Council Rock North, won her second consecutive state title.

Beehner was one of four freshmen in the AAA girls field and the lone freshman from the Western Region.

She placed fifth at the regional tournament, and the top six finishers from the west — all WPIAL golfers — competed against 12 golfers from the eastern region.

“I was happy for her,” Persin said.

“She had a lot of support (at states). She beat some really good golfers. I told her that she has three more years. She will be back.”

Section 3 was well represented at states, as Shady Side Academy senior Shannon Gramley and Penn-Trafford senior Haley Borkovich also competed.

Gramley finished tied for ninth with rounds of 81 and 80 (17 over).

Borkovich ended her two rounds one place and two strokes ahead of Beehner in 13th.

Beehner began October with a fifth-place finish at the WPIAL AAA individual championship tournament.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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