It’s one thing to get to the top, it’s a completely different thing staying at the top.

It’s one thing to get to the top, it’s a completely different thing staying at the top.

This is the challenge facing the Plainview Lady Indians as they embark on their journey at the Class 4A state girls golf tournament today at Lake Hefner South Golf Course in Oklahoma City.

Perhaps the best thing going for the Lady Indians is how much success they have had at this course not just this season, but last year as well.

It was at this same course one year ago the Lady Indians captured their second state title in program history and first since 2007, as they led wire-to-wire over the course of the two-day competition. 

Also, earlier this season, the Lady Indians managed to claim the top spot at the State preview tournament, winning with a 302 for the competition, ahead of second placed and defending state runner-up Hilldale with a 334.

While the Plainview girls as a team have a title to defend this season entering state, senior Katie Finley also has a title of her own she will be fighting to maintain, as she is the defending individual Class 4A state champion.

Last year Finley was four strokes behind leader Kenzie Kirkhart after the opening day of the tournament, but stormed back with a 71 on the second day to win the title by five strokes over second placed Shelby Phillips from Ft. Gibson.

“It’s a good feeling being the returning state champions, but there’s also a lot of pressure to follow it up,” Finley said. “It’s super exciting for me though knowing it’s my last go around. 

“The biggest challenge at this course is always going to be the conditions,” Finley added. “This course is right on the lake and that effects the wind a lot more. We’re just going to have to stay level headed throughout the entire tournament.”

Finley won’t be alone though in her quest to regain another top-10 finish individually this year, as Adeline Norton will also be looking to improve on her fourth place finish last season.

“We just need to stay calm and do what we know how to do out there,” Norton said. “The biggest challenge I feel were going to have is dealing with the dog legs in this wind. If we can overcome that and play our game, we’ll be successful.”

Reagan Chaney will also be a welcome sight for the Lady Indians at the state tournament this season as she will look to make an impact on Plainview and the rest of the field.

“It feels great having made the state tournament again,” she said. “Regardless of us being defending state champions, we need to play good and play our game. The biggest factor for us is going to be avoiding hitting the ball in the water and staying on course.”

There will be a new face making her state tournament debut this season as Lindyn Ross will look to shock the field, and be apart of history at the same time.

“It’s definitely a new feeling since I’m a freshman being apart of a state tournament,” she said. “At the same time though it’s extremely exciting for me. My biggest challenge at this course is going to be the greens, since putting is a little bit of a weakness of mine.”

“I’m sure we all feel a little pressure,” Ross added. “But I think we just need to play like we always do together. To repeat as state champions would be an amazing accomplishment, especially given all the hours of work and practice we’ve put in.”

Plainview will be teeing off at 10:04 this morning from hole No. 1, along with Ft. Gibson and Cushion. Newcastle, Muldrow and Wagoner will be in the earlier group teeing off from the first hole. 

“I have full confidence in this team,” Finley said. “If we want to follow up with another state title, we’re going to have to play our best. This year isn’t last year, and we just all need to go out there with a level head.”

“It would be amazing to repeat as state champions,” Finley added. “It’s definitely going to be tough. But, I’m very excited to see what this group of talented players can do.”