ZANESVILLE — October 12 will be a memorable date in the life of Libby Aleshire.
The Miami Trace High School junior picked an auspicious time to play her best round of golf thus far.
Aleshire won the Division I District championship held at Eaglesticks Golf Club in Zanesville Monday.
Aleshire had a score of 72, which was two over par on the 4,200-yard course.
The score of 72 was a personal best for Aleshire and a school record for the Miami Trace girls golf program.
As a team, Miami Trace placed third out of the five schools at the District. There were also individual competitors from another three schools.
Fellow junior Alyssa Butler placed seventh out of a total of 30 competitors with a score of 83.
Junior Makayla Barnes was 16th with a 94; senior Destinee Butcher was 28th with a 124 and senior Taylor Moore was 30th with a 147.
The team from Marietta won the District with a 360 and will advance to the State tournament.
John Glenn was second with a 364.
Miami Trace shot a team score of 373, followed by Logan with a 378 and Dover with a 411.
From Chillicothe, sophomore Isabella Fisher was 12th with a score of 88 and sophomore Julie Lemaster was 14th with a 92.
At the District, Aleshire had four bogeys, two birdies and 12 par holes.
After six holes, she was even. After nine holes, Aleshire was two over par.
She then had a bogey, then a birdie, then another bogey (on No. 15) which put her three over par.
Finally, Aleshire concluded her round with a birdie on 18 for the winning score of 72.
Aleshire will compete in the two-day Division I State tournament on the Gray course at The Ohio State University Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24.
The Record-Herald spoke with Aleshire Tuesday afternoon.
She began by talking about her goals.
“First, I wanted to be on the all-league team for the FAC (Frontier Athletic Conference),” Aleshire said. “I did that.
“We wanted our team to make it to State,” Aleshire said. “We would have had to place first at Districts. We came up short of that.
“I wanted for myself just to improve, stroke-wise, on what I did last year (at the District tournament),” Aleshire said. “I did that by 16 strokes. I got low medalist at Districts, so, now I’m going to State.
“I pretty much accomplished my goals,” Aleshire said. “I went above and beyond what I thought I would do this year.”
Aleshire spoke about the team.
“Me and Alyssa and Mack, we’re the juniors on the team,” Aleshire said. “We pretty much compete with each other, me and Alyssa, especially. We push one another.
“Alyssa didn’t shoot exactly what she hoped she would shoot at Districts,” Aleshire said. “She still shot well. We all improved from what we shot last year there.
“Our two seniors both competed at a high level,” Aleshire said. “They didn’t shoot exactly what they wanted to shoot there. You never shoot exactly what you want in golf. There are always going to be unexpected things that happen in your round.
“It was a fun experience to have them on the team,” Aleshire said. “We’re going to miss them greatly next year. Hopefully, we can find someone to fill their shoes.
“I went into (the District) just wanting to have fun,” Aleshire said. “I knew it could be my last time on the course this year, so, I just wanted to leave it all out there. My mom kept telling me to just go out there and have fun and my dad did, too.
“I went out there and just kind of went for it,” Aleshire said. “I didn’t leave anything to think about, or regret. I just played my heart out while I was out there. If bad things happened during the round, I recovered from them. I kept on fighting back from stuff.
“Like, on my last hole, I was one over on the back nine,” Aleshire said. “I chipped up and I was like an inch away from the hole and I made a birdie on the last hole to put me even. That made me two over through 18.”
Aleshire planned to take Tuesday off and catch up on her school work.
Then, she and head coach Todd Wallace will either play a round of golf or otherwise work on her game Wednesday.
On Thursday, Aleshire and Wallace are going to Columbus to play a round on the Gray course at Ohio State.
The tournament starts Friday morning at 9 a.m.
“I get to do a practice round,” Aleshire said. “To give me an idea of the course. We did that at Districts, too.
“I’m kind of just taking the day off today (Tuesday) to come off of the win and mellow out,” Aleshire said. “I’ve been pushing hard since Sectionals to do better at Districts.
“I’ll be back to practicing hard (Wednesday),” Aleshire said.
This will be the first 36-hole tournament for Aleshire.
“I have to get my body prepared for that,” Aleshire said. “And my mental game prepared. Let’s say I go out on the first day and lay an egg. I can’t let that get to me, or it’s all going to be bad. I have to get myself prepared, mentally and physically, because it’s a lot of wear on your body.
“My dad always told me that golf is played on a five-inch playing field and it’s between your ears,” Aleshire said. “Golf is all mental. If you don’t have your mental game ready, then, your other game is going to go with it.”
Golf can be a strain on the mind, Aleshire said.
“It might not be the most physically demanding sport, like football or wrestling or basketball, but it’s the most mentally demanding,” Aleshire said. “That’s what people don’t understand. (Monday) night, when I came home, I was mentally exhausted.”
What might be her approach to playing on high school golf’s biggest stage?
“I’m just going to try and enjoy my experience up there,” Aleshire said. “It’s nothing to get upset about if I go up there and don’t do well. I just want to enjoy my experience up there, because you never know how next year is going to go.
“I want to make everyone proud and represent the community well,” Aleshire said. “I’m going to enjoy my experience when I go up there. I’m going to have a good time representing Miami Trace.
“I’m hoping to be top 20,” Aleshire said. “That would be nice. If I go (above that) that would be great. I’m not going to get upset if I don’t place where I would like, because, most of those kids have been up there before.”
“Everything clicked for Libby,” Miami Trace head coach Todd Wallace said. “She just played the golf she is capable of playing. That’s just the level of golf skill she possesses. It all came together for her.
“She was pretty steady on the day,” Wallace said. “She rebounded when she needed to. The difficulty at Eaglesticks is not so much the length, but the undulation of the greens. There are no flat putts at Eaglesticks; I’ve never found one.
“On No. 7, she had a ball that got away from her and into the rough,” Wallace said. “She got up and down on that hole with a bogey and she was lucky. Her game was just on. If we were going to highlight any (aspect), her driver worked every time she pulled it out of the bag. Her driver kept her in the round.
“It’s going to be an interesting journey for her,” Wallace said. “She’s a great young lady. She’s pretty steady; she’s a good athlete.
“We wanted to achieve the goal (of going to State) as a team,” Wallace said. “We just fell a little short. It’s golf, sometimes it happens. She knew she had to play her best golf.
“Alyssa played the best she could yesterday,” Wallace said. “It was (Aleshire’s) day. It was a day when everything worked for Libby.”
Aleshire is the daughter of Melisa and Larry Aleshire.