Saint Thomas Aquinas High School junior Gianna Misenhelter merely continued her rise along the Sun Country prep girls continuum in the 2008 campaign, leaving even those closest to her game to marvel at its progress.
For a second consecutive season, the junior is the All-Sun Girls Golfer of the Year. Misenhelter, who captured her second straight individual state title this season for the repeat state-champion Saints, earned selection from the Sun’s sports staff following consideration of information provided by the area’s girls coaches.
The junior’s round of 73 at Salina secured for her the Class 5A individual crown this year, after she took home 6A-5A individual honors in 2007.
A staple to the All-Sun Girls Golf first team in each of her high school seasons, Misenhelter provided her usual solid evidence this time around. She successfully defended her East Kansas League, regional and state titles of her sophomore season. Her Saints team did likewise following the split of the state’s top two classes in girls golf.
“Gianna has responded to the pressure of defending her championship marvelously,” Saint Thomas Aquinas girls coach Ryan Best said. “She could have been content with her success last season and her game, but she wasn’t. She continued to improve on her weaknesses and found more ways to shoot lower scores.”
Best called Misenhelter’s rounds of 66 and 67, which came in her victories in her Class 5A regional and final round of the East Kansas League championship at Swope Park, respectively, “phenomenal rounds that are not common in high school golf,” adding, “She really stepped up her play this year to defend her league, region and state titles.”
In all, Misenhelter won eight separate events in which she competed this season and managed fourth in two others while buoying the Saints throughout their return quest for Kansas greatness.