GIRLS GOLF: Head coach Carli McKenney isn’t ready to declare the Ramblers a favorite to win next month’s Class AA state championship, but she was encouraged by Saturday’s showing at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur.

At the site of the state tournament, Loyola finished first with a 306, beating New Trier on a fifth-scorecard tiebreaker. Senior Tatum Koehn’s season-best 82 was the deciding score. In fact, all six players shot their lowest rounds of the year.

“I think our takeaway from this past weekend was we had a ton of fun and saw our potential,” McKenney said. “We have a lot of play ahead of us to make it [back there], so we are just trying to focus on our preparation.”

Senior Nina Rutkowski led Loyola with a 71 and took second place. Junior Lilly Gentzkow’s 75 was good for fifth, while sophomore Mary Boesen shot 79 to place ninth. Sophomore Grace Kryscio rounded out the top four with an 81. Junior Shea Graf followed Koehn with an 83.

“It is nice that we get to play [Hickory Point Golf Club] ahead of time,” McKenney said “With that said, we are taking everything one day and one shot at a time.”

The Ramblers begin the postseason push Sept. 28 at the GCAC’s tournament at Green Garden Country Club in Frankfort. Loyola starts the state series Oct. 4 at the Glenbrook North Regional at Sportsman’s Country Club in Northbrook. The sectional tournament is at Pheasant Run in St. Charles, hosted by Wheaton Academy. The Class AA tournament is Oct. 13-14.

BOYS GOLF: Senior Chip Savarie’s 70 on Saturday at Steeple Chase Golf Club led Loyola to first place at Mundelein’s invitational with a team score of 291.

Savarie took second and was one of four Ramblers who finished inside the top 10.

“I think I played pretty well,” Savarie said. “My putting is getting better, and that makes a difference. For me, it’s about making those 10- to 12-footers. If I can get enough putts to fall, I will score well. But my game is trending in the right direction.”

Junior Jack Crawshaw came in third with a 71, while juniors Ryan Savarie and Peter Radler each shot 75.

“We had four solid scores, which was nice to see,” Chip Savarie said. “This year is the opposite of last year. Last year, we played well at the beginning. This year, we are playing better toward the end, when it matters.”

Loyola plays at the Catholic League’s tournament Wednesday at Cog Hill in Lemont. The Ramblers host the Class 3A regional at Glencoe Golf Club on Oct. 3. The sectional, hosted by New Trier, is Oct. 9 at Winnetka Golf Club, and the state tournament is Oct. 13-14 at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY: There is no game plan Saturday when the Ramblers compete at Palatine’s invitational at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve, according to head coach ChrisJon Simon.

It will be a preview of the Class 3A Lake Park Sectional and Loyola’s toughest test of the season, Simon said. State-qualifying candidates Maine South, New Trier, York and Wheaton Warrenville South all will be in the field.

“We want our girls to compete, get a sense about racing,” he said. “The time is the time.”

While seniors Lainey McKinley and Emily Plodzeen are the clear Nos. 1-2, Simon said junior Hannah Kelly has established herself as the team’s No. 3 runner. Kelly led Loyola to first place at DePaul Prep’s invitational Sept. 9 at Horner Park.

“We gave her an opportunity to run as our No. 1 there, and she took advantage of it,” Simon said. “That was really good for her.”

Saturday’s race will be another chance for Simon to see who can fill out the Nos. 4-5 spots in the lineup.

“There are five girls going for those two spots right now,” he said. “We will start to find out who will be able to run there in the next week or so.”