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Tigers repeat as MBC girls golf titlists

New Richmond's girls golfers overtook Amery in the final week of the season to win their second straight Middle Border Conference championship.

The Tigers clinched the 2003 championship by winning the MBC tournament, played last Wednesday at the Hammond Golf Club. Despite wildly windy conditions, the Tigers were able to shoot a 387. Amery was well behind the Tigers, finishing second with a 412. St. Croix Central was third in the tournament with a 421 and Somerset was fourth among the eight teams shooting a 425.

New Richmond wins the overall team conference championship with 58 points. Amery was second with 53, St. Croix Central third with 50 points and Somerset fourth with 35 points.

St. Croix Central senior Katrina Brummer was the medalist at the conference tournament, shooting a 92. That round capped an outstanding season, with Brummer finishing as the leading point earner in the conference to top the 2003 All-Middle Border Conference team.

Joining Brummer on the all-conference first team are Andrea Pendergast and Kaitlin Jamieson of New Richmond, Renee Kuhl of Amery and Amey Smith of Ellsworth.

Winning under pressure

New Richmond's girls needed to place in the top two spots in the conference tournament to assure that they would win the conference title. The Tigers didn't just handle the pressure, they thrived on it. In conditions where it was nearly impossible to play their best golf, Jamieson and Pendergast both shot 93, missing the medalist score in the tournament by one stroke.

The success of the Tigers is drawn from having five reliable scorers and that was the case again in the conference tournament. Ali Saliny shot a 100, Cadi O'Connell a 101 and Molly Gjovik a 104 as the Tigers won the conference tournament by 25 strokes.

This is not the same Tiger team that won the conference title a year ago. Jamieson and Pendergast are the only returning members of the varsity five.

"It's a totally different team in terms of personality, in terms of how they attack a golf course," said Tiger coach Neal Ziller. "Even Kaitlin and Andrea are different players."

Ziller praised the way Jamieson and Molly Gjovik, the team's seniors, have taken on leadership roles.

As the Tigers move toward regionals, Ziller wants the girls to up their expectations of their play. He said the discussions leading into regionals and sectionals will be playing smart, patient golf and playing mistake-free golf.

"I see this team is peaking out. We need to continue our peaking because it will only get more difficult," Ziller said.

St. Croix Central girls are third

One of the biggest surprises of the Middle Border Conference season was the continued strong play of the St. Croix Central girls. The Panthers positioned themselves as the third place team early in the conference schedule and kept the pressure on New Richmond and Amery, the two teams above them in the conference rankings.

Brummer's play was the catalyst for Central. She was either medalist or tied for medalist in her last five conference events.

"Katrina had a remarkable season," said Central coach Bob Nelson. "She has worked hard at her game to get to where she is."

The Panthers made the move up this season by playing like experienced players. They showed consistency and had as few off days as any team in the conference.

In the conference meet Ella Olson shot a 108, Shannon Perry a 109, Katie Moore a 112 and Connie Brummer a 113. Nelson said the girls weren't happy with how they played in the tournament.

"The fact they were not happy with how they played could be a good sign for the regionals. They don't want to play poorly again," Nelson said. "We need to play well at regionals to increase our chances of playing well at sectionals. Confidence is a big factor this time of the year."

Somerset girls fourth

The Spartans had an up-and-down day in the conference tournament, but still managed to hang onto fourth place. Their improved play resulted in the Spartans missing third place by four strokes.

Lizzie Wittstock got hot with her putter on the back nine to finish with a 102 to lead the Spartans in the conference tournament. Heather Lyons played steady golf to finish at 103 and Shannon Schottler came through at 104.

Freshman Cora Brunell, playing in her second varsity event, shot a 116. Linzy Hemmer had a rare off-day to shoot 123.

The Spartans are making their goal to advance to the WIAA sectional tournament. After their play in the conference tournament, the Spartans have to be considered a viable threat to make in through the regional tournament.

Middle Border Conference Golf Tournament

Team Scores: New Richmond 387, Amery 412, St. Croix Central 421, Somerset 425, Ellsworth 439, St. Croix Falls 447, Baldwin-Woodville 502, Prescott 519

New Richmond scores

Kaitlin Jamieson 93, Andrea Pendergast 93, Ali Saliny 100, Cadi O'Connell 101, Molly Gjovik 104

St. Croix Central scores

Katrina Brummer 92, Ella Olson 108, Shannon Perry 109, Katie Moore 112, Connie Brummer 113

Somerset scores

Heather Lyons 103, Lizzie Wittstock 102, Shannon Schottler 104, Cora Brunell 116, Linzy Hemmer 123

Final Conference Team Point Totals: New Richmond 58, Amery 53, St. Croix Central 50, Somerset 35, St. Croix Falls 31, Ellsworth 29, Baldwin-Woodville 16, Prescott 13

2003 All-MBC Girls Golf Team

First Team

Katrina Brummer, St. Croix Central

Andrea Pendergast, New Richmond

Renee Kuhl, Amery

Kaitlin Jamieson, New Richmond

Amey Smith, Ellsworth

Second Team

Ali Saliny, New Richmond

Brittany Nelson, St. Croix Falls

Ally Kaehler, Amery

Brenna Martens, St. Croix Falls

Cadi O'Connell, New Richmond

Honorable Mention

Colette Brandt, Prescott

Ella Olson, St. Croix Central

Molly Gjovik, New Richmond

Casey Peavey, Amery

Erin Schaefer, Amery

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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