The first Middle Border Conference event of the 2019-20 school year was Monday’s girls golf meet at Krooked Kreek Golf Course in Osceola. It didn’t take long to show that the MBC is filled with talented golfers this season.

New Richmond won Monday’s meet, but the Tigers found out that the MBC will offer plenty of strong competition this season. The Tigers won the match by shooting 179. Prescott was the surprise of the day, finishing second at 190. St. Croix Central placed third at 193.They were followed by Amery at 213, Somerset at 214, Baldwin-Woodville at 218, Ellsworth at 222 and Osceola at 233.

New Richmond coach Neal Ziller was quite pleased that the Tigers could post a strong score this early in the season. He sounded equally was happy with the fact that there are teams capable of challenging the Tigers for the top spot in the conference.

“I hope they give us a run for our money. That makes us better,” Ziller said.

The big news from the match was the play of Prescott freshman Ava Salay, daughter of Cardinals coach Chad Salay. Salay earned medalist honors in her first MBC match by shooting a 40.

New Richmond’s Jessica Hagman and Prescott’s Alexis Fredericks tied for second place at 41. New Richmond’s Lanie Veenendall and Ellsworth’s Holly Carlson tied for third place at 43.

New Richmond won the team title because of the team’s depth. Abbie Ritzer shot 47, Sydney Nolan 48 and Kailey Stevens 57 to bring the Tigers in 11 strokes ahead of Prescott.

Ziller said Hagman had one bad hole, but otherwise played admirably. He said the freshmen, Ritzer and Stevens, both handled the pressure of their first MBC match well.

“Abbie played exceptionally well. She was down the middle the whole day,” he said.

The Tigers will be back in action Wednesday when they host their invitational at the New Richmond Golf Club.



St. Croix Central

By getting all five players to score at 50 or lower, the Panthers made an impressive showing in their first match of the season.

Sally Vangsness led Central by shooting a 45 and Parker Chladek shot a 48. Brooklyn Mishler, Sydney Burgess and Jenna Wehausen all finished at 50. Central coach Logan Kimberly said the Panthers shot a 218 at the Osceola match last season, giving a direct indication of how far the program has progressed.

“I don't think I've ever had a match were the difference between our lowest and highest score was five strokes,” Kimberly said.

He was especially complimentary of Burgess, who was playing in her first varsity match.

“She is a calm, clear head and really impressed me with her maturity,” Kimberly said.

The Panthers return to action on Wednesday with a match at Pheasant Hills Golf Club.



Somerset

The Spartans showed they can compete in the middle of the pack in the MBC, with hopes of climbing up the standings.

Senior Haley Myers led the Spartans on Monday by shooting a 46. Cameron Paradies showed her game has improved, shooting a 54. She was followed by Isabella Fagan at 56, Ella Holland at 58 and Briley Olson at 67. The Spartans finished one stroke behind Amery for fourth place, giving them an immediate goal.

“I was pleasantly surprised how we finished. We now have a baseline to use as how we progress the rest of the season,” said Somerset coach Todd Myers.

The Spartans play in three invitationals during the rest of the week, starting with Wednesday’s meet at Pheasant Hills. Coach Myers said he plans to rotate several more girls into the varsity lineup in these meets to see how they can perform at the varsity level.