OTTUMWA -- Whitney Dostal and Darby Patritto played a gargantuan role in the Ottumwa girls golf team's success this season.
The two girls, who have both finished first in a number of duals and invitationals, through their play; have helped point the Bulldogs' compass towards the National Lake Panorama Golf Course, which is nestled in the the small town of Panora, where the girls team will compete today and Wednesday in the Class 5A state championship. It's the Bulldogs second consecutive appearance at state as a team Patritto's third appearance in her career.
"She's led the team the entire season and she has more experience than anyone else and that will be a huge help for the girls competing for the first time," Ottumwa girls golf coach Stephanie Mishler said.
Dostal, providing a crucial springboard for Ottumwa's second place finish at regionals in Cedar Rapids, posted the top individual score of 82. Patritto also bolstered the Bulldogs final score by tying for fourth overall 87 strokes. The Bulldogs collective score at regionals was 362 strokes.
Aside from her season-defining victory at regionals, Dostal has amassed a number of other significant achievements, including taking first overall at the CIML Metro Conference meet in Des Moines, carding an 83. In addition, she claimed first place honors at the Osky Invitationals with a 41 and garnered a third place finish with a score of 79 at a Johnston Invitational filled to the hilt with quality golf programs. Plus, Dostal posted the the top score in duals against both Fairfield and Indianola.
"A lot of that comes with maturity," Mishler said about Dostal's improvement this year compared to her junior campaign.
The coach said Dostal has capitalized on the opportunity to put in the extra hours on the golf course that have helped her improve her game.