Springfield girls lead, Sleepy Eye United boys 2nd in Class A state meet

Staff photo by 
Jeremy Behnke
Sleepy Eye United’s Caleb Christensen chips out of the bunker on Hole 5 at the Class A state golf meet in Becker.

Staff photo by Jeremy Behnke Sleepy Eye United’s Caleb Christensen chips out of the bunker on Hole 5 at the Class A state golf meet in Becker.

BECKER — The Springfield girls’ golf team and the Sleepy Eye United boys’ golf team are in the hunt to bring home a Class A State title after one day at Pebble Creek.

Springfield leads the girls’ competition with a 341, 7 strokes ahead of Fillmore Central (348).

Senior Callie Wersal is also first with a 74 (37-37) on the first day. She leads Sophie Gray of Legacy Christian Academy (76). Wersal finished fourth at last year’s tournament.

It was a good day for the Tigers in their third-straight trip to the tournament. They had a strong second day last year and finished fifth overall, but expectations are much higher this year.

“We set some goals this morning and I think we were all really focused,” Wersal said. “As a team, I think we stuck to them real well.”

Their coach knows that they can continue to play well. They improved on Day 2 last year but weren’t able to make up much ground in the team standings after Day 1.

“I think we understand that if we take care of our own business, we don’t have to worry about who’s chasing us,” Springfield coach Dillon Schultz said. “If we go out there and play the round that we did today, it will be very difficult for us to lose.”

Springfield’s Jena Roiger is tied for ninth with an 84, shooting 43-41.

Wersal had her best round of the year when it mattered most. Like all good golfers, she found something she thought needed improvement.

“Actually, my drives were not consistent at all, but I made up some ground on my putting,” Wersal said. “That’s what kind of saved some pars and bogeys.”

Mackenzie Lothert (91) and Shylyn Lothert (92) rounded out the scoring for Springfield. Makenna Winkelman shot a 93 and Anna Plotz shot a 102 but their scores didn’t figure into the scoring for the Tigers.

Other area competitors include New Ulm Cathedral’s Kayla Goblirsch (93) and Cedar Mountain’s Erica Bock (101).

Other team scores include Fillmore Central (348), BOLD (357), Park Christian (367), Minneota (376), North Woods (388), Fertile-Beltrami (399) and Windom Area (408).

The Sleepy Eye United boys’ golf team is currently second and for most teams, that would be satisfying. For a team with championship aspirations, it knows it can take a lot of strokes off of Tuesday’s play.

“Honestly, they had some moments where they struggled a little bit,” coach Crystal Ibberson said. “They were fairly consistent, but their scores were not where we’ve seen them in the past and even in some of the past practice rounds. They played a lot smarter today, didn’t take quite as risky shots, but the course is a little tight and some of the hazards come into play and we saw that.”

Mahnomen/Waubun has a 14-stroke lead (316), ahead of SEU (330), Mounds Park Academy (331), Lac qui Parle Valley (334), Mesabi East (339), Blooming Prairie (347), Ottertail Central (348) and Westbrook-Walnut Grove (358) at Pebble Creek.

Trailing 14 strokes, Ibberson doesn’t seem to be worried. She knows her team is capable of making up ground.

“Looking at some of the kids and how I know they can hit the ball, I think it’s very easy to make up,” she said. “I think they definitely have a great chance of making those 14 strokes up. Into today, Mahnomen/Waubun was right in the ballpark with us. I kind of feel like they had a really great day and we had a mediocre day. If we can come out tomorrow strong and play the way we normally play, I think we’re going to be right in the mix.”

Ben Laffen, who is no stranger to the leaderboard at the state tournament, finds himself up there again. He’s third after the first day, firing a 35 on the front-9 and finishing with a 40 for a score of 75.

Blooming Prairie’s Tommy Braaten leads everyone with a 68 and Mounds Park Academy’s Matt Berning turned in a 72 for second place on the day.

SEU’s Logan Netzke shot an 87 and sits in a tie for 42nd and Josh Nelson shot an 89 (tied for 53rd). Parker Landkammer (94) and Thor Weiss (96) also competed for SEU but their scores didn’t count for the team scoring.

Springfield’s Mason Kretsch made his state debut with a score of 84. He currently is tied for 29th overall. Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Sam Pfingsten shot an 88 and is tied for 49th. His teammate Luke Gartner was 1 stroke behind (89) and tied for 53rd. Wabasso’s Garrett Sagedahl finished with a 99 on the first day.

The Springfield girls tee off at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday with Anna Plotz teeing off first. All of the girls tee off beginning at noon.

The SEU boys tee off at 8:15 a.m. with Thor Weiss going first.

Girls

Team scores

1. Springfield 341

2. Fillmore Central 348

3. BOLD 357

4. Park Christian 367

5. Minneota 376

6. North Woods 388

7. Fertile-Beltrami 399

8. Windom Area 408

Boys

Team scores

1.Mahnomen/Waubun 316

2. Sleepy Eye United 330

3. Mounds Park Academy 331

4. Lac qui Parle Valley 334

5. Mesabi East 339

6. Blooming Prairie 347

7. Ottertail Central 348

8. Westbrook-Walnut Grove 358

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