ARLINGTON — Kalida senior Grace Miller had a really long day at the Division II district golf tournament Monday at the Sycamore Springs Golf Course.

When Miller finally walked off the golf course around 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, the wait was well worth it as she had qualified for the Division II girls state golf tournament.

Miller qualified for the state tournament as she won a four hole playoff to grab the final individual qualifying spot from the district tournament at Sycamore Springs. The girls state golf tournament will be played October 11 and 12 at the Ohio State University Gray Course.

“I feel great right now,” Miller said after walking off the fourth hole having won the playoff. “I’m so happy. That was such a long playoff. I’m so happy for the opportunity to make it to state and have coach (Ken Schnipke) with me here the entire time helping me. I’m just so happy. It was a long day!

“I’ve worked so hard with the boys on my team to make it here and coach has helped me along the way to keep me positive and trying. I did it. I made it.”

Miller will be the first female individual under the direction of coach Schnipke to play at state. He has had female golfers play at state, but as part of the boys team in the past.

“This is the first girl I have had qualify to state as an individual,” Schnipke said. “I thought she did a good job.”

Miller finished her round early in the afternoon having shot an 85 (43-42). As one of the first individuals to have finish Monday, she had to sit around for nearly three hours as the remainder of the field finished their rounds to see if her score could get her to Columbus. As the final groups were coming in, Miller realized her score would put in a tie for the fourth individual qualifying spot with three other golfers meaning a playoff was necessary.

This was the first time, Miller would be involved in any kind of playoff. Miller said it was important for her to try and stay relaxed during the long wait for scores to come in and stay loose in case a playoff was needed to decide who was going to state.

“I just tried to stay relaxed and after the wait try to warm up again,” Miller said. “Coming out of the wait, you have to hit range balls, putt around, try to stay loose and relaxed. I was taking like five minutes every shot, I was trying to relax so much, breathe, stay confident, you have this and then I can hit. Coach told me on the range, ‘You are excited, you have to slow down right now and I did’.”

Joining Miller in the playoff were Lara Spurlock, Bellevue, Jordan Pruitt, Edison, and Olivia Jackson, Otsego.

Pruitt and Jackson were eliminated on the first playoff hole as Miller and Spurlock, a junior, both pared the first hole. They would also par the second and third holes, although Miller nearly saw her par putt on the third hole lip out.

“I was not happy on three. I thought I was going to lip that one out,” Miller said. “I hit and thought it was going to lip out. Luckly, it went in.”

On the fourth hole, Miller was on the green in three, while Spurlock struggled nearly hitting her second shot into the water. She left her third shot short of the green and chipped it on to the green leaving herself a long par putt. She ran her putt past the cup, while Miller’s birdie putt came to a rest two foot short of the cup, which she tapped in for the par and the win.

“I told her she had to slow down because when a person gets excited they tend to speed up. I told her she had to slow down and breathe a little bit and that’s what she did on very shot. She slowed down on every shot. She was asking what clubs to hit once in a while and we did that. She did what she had to do.

“This is the culmination of all the hard work she has put in. I think playing with the boys helped, just competing with them and against them. I think that helped a lot. You just work for it and hope you are in that position and it all worked out.”

Freshman teammate Kayla Nartker tied for 27th overall as she shot a 93 (45-58) in her fiest district competition.

Lakota’s Kyleigh Dull (71), Gibsonburg’s Sydney Leyerle (76) and Wayne Trace’s Kenadie Daeger (84) advanced to state as individuals as well.

Lima Central Catholic (334) was the team district champion followed by Huron (367), St. Henry (371) and Shelby (379) as the four teams that advanced to the state tournament.