HAMMOND, Wis. -- St. Croix Central girls’ golf coach Logan Kimberly said he’s glad the Panthers’ season ended when it did after the team finished fourth at the WIAA Division 2 State Tournament Oct. 12-13 at the Meadow Valleys Golf Course at Blackwolf Run in Kohler. Close contact quarantining was rising.
“I told my other coaches that the way stuff seems to be going around our school, I don't know if our team would have made it another week,” he noted.
Kimberly said the Panthers deserve all the credit in the world for ending their season at state, especially this year.
“They worked so hard this year and were motivated to keep battling through all sorts of strange circumstances,” he said. “It's very rewarding that we were allowed to finish our season, especially at a course as prestigious and beautiful as Blackwolf Run.”
The Panthers finished with a 27-hole total of 592 after Monday’s play was shortened to nine holes due to thunderstorms. Middle Border Conference foe Prescott took the team title with 560 and The Prairie School was second with 579 while Edgewood finished third with 580.
KImberly pointed out that the Panthers' final score of 592 was closer to first-place Prescott than fifth place Freedom’s 628 was to the Panthers.
“As a team we had high hopes to bring home some hardware, possibly place second,” Kimberly said. “But the depth of the teams at state this year was higher quality than last year. We were only 13 shots behind second place, but I’m very pleased with the way we finished and played in very tough conditions and a tough course.”
Kimberly said the Blackwolf Run course featured fast greens, enormous bunkers, lots of penalty areas and difficult holes, especially on the back nine.
“Add to all of that the three-hour rain delay on the first day and the unrelenting wind throughout both days, and it’s safe to say the course played extremely difficult,” he said.
Junior Sally Vangsness navigated her way to a fifth place total of 132 (46-86), one spot better than her sixth place state finish a year ago at University Ridge. Her second-day score of 86 was the third best individual score of the day.
“She really showed some grit throughout her round,” Kimberly said. “She’s a heck of a golfer and I can’t wait to have her around for another year.”
KImberly gave a special shout-out to Panther junior Sarah McHenry, who shot a career-best 18-hole score of 91 on day two of the tournament, one stroke lower than her previous best of 92 shot the week before at sectionals. McHenry finished with a two-day total of 141 to finish 12th in the individual standings.
“I can’t believe how strong she played at the end of the year, playing her best golf in some of the most crucial matches,” Kimberly said. “She was also the only one on our team to record a birdie down at state.”
Senior Jenna Wehausen tied for 23rd with a total score of 155 (49-106) and junior Sydney Burgess finished with 164 (54-110) while junior Gil Holme shot 170 (54-116).
With Wehausen the only graduating senior from this year’s state-qualifying team, Kimberly said the Panthers are already eyeing a third straight trip to state.
“This year was crazy and hectic and challenging, but a lot of fun,” he said. “And with four returning letter winners next year, we hope to be right back in the same position we were at the end of the year this year.”
Veenendall ties for 17th; Nolan finishes 21st
New Richmond junior Lanie Veenendall finished in a four-way tie for 17th place and classmate Sydney Nolan placed 21st in the Division 1 portion of the state meet Oct. 12-13 at Blackwolf Run.
Veenendall shot a two-day total of 132 (45-87) while Nolan was one stroke back at 133 (48-85). Arrowhead’s Jessica Guiser and Cedarburg’s Elise Hoven both finished at 119 before Guiser defeated Hoven on the first playoff hole to earn the individual title.
Brookfield Central won the Division 1 team title with a total score of 516.
Both Veenendall and Nolan advanced to state as individual qualifiers out of the Tomah Sectional the week before. Veenendall won the individual sectional title with a score of 78 while Nolan shot an 83 to claim the third and final individual qualifying berth.