Sarah Peterson saved her best for last.
Peterson, the only senior on a very young Tomah High School girls golf team, jumped over her younger peers and claimed medalist honors Friday at a Mississippi Valley Conference match at Tomah’s Hiawatha Golf Club.
It was the final round for Peterson as a high school golfer on her home course, and she responded with her best outing of the season. Her nine-hole score of 39 edged out freshman teammate Brin Neumann by one shot.
Freshman Amelia Zingler and sophomore Hannah Zhu tied for fourth overall with 44s. Sophomore Sophie Pokela had a 45, and junior Jayda Zhu shot a 50 to round out Tomah’s scoring.
The individual scores lifted the Timberwolves to first place in the team total and virtually guaranteed they will claim the program’s first conference championship since 2014.
Team scores: Tomah 167, Onalaska 180, Holmen 210, Sparta 218, La Crosse Aquinas 230, La Crosse Central/La Crosse Logan incomplete
Tomah has won four of the five MVC meets and has a six-point lead on Onalaska heading into the 18-hole MVC finale Sept. 23 at Viroqua. The Timberwolves would clinch the title outright by finishing at least third or a share of the title by finishing fourth or better. Finishing third or below is a highly unlikely outcome; no other MVC team has come close to challenging Tomah and Onalaska in the top two.
The Timberwolves also posted several competitive junior varsity scores. Emma Van Treese led the jayvees with a 49; Madelin Ewers shot a 51; Amelia Schahofer, Hope Carlson and Allie Kemp all shot 52s; and Amanda Lowry shot a 53.
WIAA tournament action begins Wednesday, Oct. 2, when the Timberwolves travel to a Division 1 Regional at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids. Tomah and Wisconsin Rapids will be joined by Central/Logan, Holmen, Marshfield, Onalaska, Stevens Point and Westby/Viroqua.
The top four teams and top three individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to the Sectional Monday, Oct. 7 at Stevens Point Country Club.