Five straight championships.
The New Richmond girls earned their fifth straight Middle Border Conference golf title when they won the 2019 MBC tournament, played Wednesday at the Ellsworth Country Club.
The Tigers won the tournament with a 376, finishing two strokes in front of St. Croix Central, with Prescott three strokes back. That win locked up the overall championship for the Tigers with 98 points. Prescott placed second with 90 points and St. Croix Central was third with 81 points.
Prescott freshman Ava Salay was the medalist, as she’s been in every conference match. She won Wednesday with an 80. New Richmond’s Jessica Hagman took second place by shooting 82.
Hagman is joined on this year’s team by two sophomores and two freshmen. New Richmond coach Neal Ziller said Hagman’s leadership is one of the main reasons the Tigers were able to continue their string of championships.
“It’s all a testament to Jessica’s leadership. Her practice ethic and her work ethic have rubbed off on them. I have all the confidence in the world in her,” Ziller said.
Sophomores Lanie Veenendall and Sydney Nolan have been part of two title winners. Hagman finished second in the overall conference standings, with Veenendall third and Nolan seventh. The sophomores have become highly reliable players this season. Veenendall shot an 88 Wednesday and Nolan shot 97.
Freshmen Kailey Stevens and Abbie Ritzer have held the final two varsity positions all season. Stevens played her best round of the season on Wednesday, shooting 109. Ritzer finished at 111.
The Tigers turn their attention now to the WIAA Division 1 regional meet, which will be played next Wednesday at Superior. The team will be playing a practice round at Superior on Saturday. Ziller said the girls can learn a lesson from the Tiger boys, who played their regional meet at Superior last spring. The weather is likely to be a factor. Ziller said nobody is going to play an ideal round in weather that is likely to be cold and wet.
“If they can accept that, I think we can come out on top,” Ziller said.
St. Croix Central
The Panthers have been building momentum in the final weeks of the season and that continued on Wednesday with their second place finish in the conference tournament. The Panthers finished two strokes behind New Richmond and they beat Prescott for the first time this season.
Central was led by sophomore Sally Vangsness. She took third place in the conference tournament by shooting an 86, getting a 43 in each half of the round. That locked up a spot for her on the all-conference first team.
Three Panthers earned all-conference honors. Senior Brooklyn Mishler played her way onto the second team and senior Parker Chladek made the honorable mention list. They both played fine rounds Wednesday, with Mishler shooting 89 and Chladek 101. Jenna Wehausen shot 102 and Sydney Burgess shot 113.
Central’s 378 team score was the best 18-hole score the Panthers have posted in the three years Logan Kimberly has been the team’s coach. He said the Panthers knew they were locked into third place in the final standings. That they still played their best round of the season shows how much continuing their progress means to the girls.
“With that being said, we came out and shot lights out,” Kimberly said. “I am so proud of how our girls are playing with confidence and really putting together solid rounds.”
When the Panthers play at the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament at Bristol Ridge next Wednesday, they are hoping to continue their progress. Their goal is to advance through to the sectional meet, with the Division 2 sectional scheduled to be played at Pheasant Hills Golf Club on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
The Spartans shot a 444 on Wednesday, tying with Baldwin-Woodville for sixth place in the conference tournament results. The Spartans finished in seventh place in the MBC final standings, one point behind the Blackhawks.
Somerset was led by senior Haley Myers, who shot an 86 to tie for third place in the tournament. She finished seventh in the final MBC statistics, earning her second team All-MBC laurels. Myers had her best nine-hole score of the season on the front nine on Tuesday, shooting 42. She followed it with a 44 on the back nine.
Ella Holland was Somerset’s second finisher, shooting 114. Briley Olson and Isabella Fagan finished at 122.
Somerset coach Todd Myers said he saw progress from the team Wednesday, which was the goal for the day. The next goal is to advance through the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament, which will be played next Wednesday. The Spartans have the advantage of playing that tournament on their home course.
“(The) blessing for us we will be in the first wave, our players won't have to chase a score but instead are able to just relax and post a score that others will have to chase,” Coach Myers said.