NORTH MANKATO - Emotions were high at the Section 2A Golf Tournament at North Links Golf Club in North Mankato Monday afternoon as United South Central (USC) took both the boys and girls titles and advanced to state.
The Sleepy Eye girls golf placed second, as a team, with 390 points, falling behind USC by nine points. On the plus side, three Sleepy Eye girls did qualify and will advance to state, individually: Emily Curtis (87), Lauren Laffen (90), and Karrah Remus (94).
"Sending kids to state is always a good feeling. I wish we could of gone as a team, again, but it just wasn't in the cards today," Sleepy Eye Coach Kaleb Walter said. "We're proud of all our kids and to have some representation at the tourney, again, this year, is always good."
New Ulm Cathedral was third with a 411 and Martin County West was fourth with a 429 on the girls side.
Cathedral's Brooke Dummer also qualified for the state for the second year in a row. The sophomore shot a 100 and edged two players in a playoff to advance.
Kia Ruch of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (99) also advanced. Dummer's playoff win was over O'Brien and Cedar Mountain's Courtney Nelson.
Cathedral was led by Dummer, followed by Megan O'Brien (100, lost in a playoff to Dummer), Courtney Berg (102) and Ellie Dittrich (109) and Grace Gillis (109). Megan Laraway shot a 128.
For Sleepy Eye, Curtis (87) led the way, followed by Lauren Laffen (90), Karrah Remus (94) and Kaylee Hillmer (119) were next for the Indians. Tia Cselovszki (127) and Sarah Rossbach (123) also competed for the Indians.
It was a beautiful day for golf. Both players and coaches attested that the course made for a challenging round of golf.
"That front nine chewed up all of girls games today, I think there were only two or three who shot under 50 on the first nine," Walter said. "Some of the girls didn't really hit their best games today, so that's kind of hard to end the season on, but it's a tough course and they played their best-that's all we ask of them. We're still proud of all of them."
Emily Curtis shot an 87 for Sleepy Eye, and picked up medalist honors.
"We qualified for state as a team last year, but being able to qualify again this year as an individual still feels great," Curtis said. "I just played my game, a lot of girls were having problems with the front nine, but I just had a really good day on the greens, and had some shots that went really well."
Other area individuals for the girls included Minnesota Valley Lutheran's Michaela Otterstatter (111), Madelia's Felicia Pineda (103), St. Mary's Sarah Surprenant (127), MVL's Chrissy Biedenbender (107), St. Mary's Alyssa Rubey (127), MVL's Laura Albrecht (111), St. Mary's Anna Miller (114), Nelson (100), Madelia's Haley Simpson (102) and St. Mary's Mackenzie Schutz (102).
For the boys, Jordan Henry of Madelia (73), Cordell Weber of Martin County West (76), Aaron Walzak of Mountain Lake (79), Jake Murray of Bethlehem Academy (79), and Mike Sorenson of Madelia (80) all qualified for state.
Sleepy Eye's Ben Laffen finished the day with an 89, and Tyler Netzke shot an 81, which was one shy of qualifying for a state trip for the boys.
Individually, Cedar Mountain's Brady Kerkhoff (91), Andrew Fischer (104), Zac Kerkhoff (91) and Tristan Pietig (88) competed. Madelia's Zach Baumgartner (92) and Riley Benzel (102) competed along with New Ulm Cathedral's Conner Jakes (109), Kansas Adams of St. Mary's (85), John Brandl of St. Mary's (98), and MVL's Jacob Grunewald (89) rounded out the area competitors.