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New Richmond golfers complete undefeated MBC season

The New Richmond girls golf team that won the Middle Border Conference tournament last Thursday included (l-r) Liz Towberman, Beth Duncan, Maggie Veenendall, Mallorie Brinkman, Maddie McCann and coach Neal Ziller.

The New Richmond squad completed the second perfect season in Middle Border Conference girls golf history when they won the championship in the 2015 conference tournament, played last Thursday at Pheasant Hills Golf Club.

The Tigers achieved the perfect season by shooting their best 18-hole score of the season. Their 379 score put them 15 strokes ahead of Osceola for the tournament championship. The Tigers finish the season with a perfect 100 points in the conference standings. The only other time a team has been able to run the table in MBC girls golf matches was in 2013, when the Tigers reached that distinction for the first time. New Richmond junior Maddie McCann, the Tigers’ top player this season, was also a member of the Tiger varsity that completed the perfect season in 2013.

McCann played her best 18-hole round of the 2015 season on Thursday, finishing with an 84. She finished second to Osceola senior Anna Uzpen, who shot a 79. Uzpen and McCann also finished as the top two players in the MBC for the season.

Freshmen Maggie Veenendall and Mallorie Brinkman shot 94 and 98 at the conference tournament. Tiger seniors Beth Duncan and Liz Towberman finished at 103 and 104.

McCann, Veenendall and Brinkman earned first team All-MBC honors, with Duncan finishing as an honorable mention all-conference player.

New Richmond coach Neal Ziller said the Tigers were able to maintain their winning ways in the conference because of a drive to improve by all the girls on the team. Ziller credited the older players on the team for taking a responsibility to help the younger girls adjust to playing high school golf.

McCann is seeing the best results of her career after she and Ziller spent time recently working to detect flaws in her swing. In last Tuesday’s MBC match at Bristol Ridge, McCann earned medalist honors.

Veenendall and Brinkman have been one of the most impactful sets of freshmen in many years in the conference. Veenendall ranked third and Brinkman sixth in the all-conference rankings. They were the only freshmen to earn all-conference honors this season.

Ziller said it was good to see Duncan and Towberman playing well at the end of the season. They had to battle all season to keep their places in the varsity lineup and Ziller credited them for meeting the challenge and improving their skills to maintain their varsity positions.

St. Croix Central

The Panthers accomplished their team goal of earning third place in the final conference standings. They did so by placing fourth at the conference tournament.

Central senior Emma Landry earned all-conference honors. She has been a fixture among the top five players in the conference matches, especially in the final two-thirds of the season. That resulted in her finishing fourth overall in the final conference rankings. Landry tied for fifth place at the conference tournament, finishing at 94.

Joining Landry in the all-conference rankings was Central senior Hailey Schultz. She was an honorable mention All-MBC player, ranking 15th in the individual scoring in conference matches. Schultz played one of her best rounds of the season on Thursday, finishing with a 102.

Central sophomore Audra Scott just missed earning all-conference honors. She has been playing through a shoulder injury the past few weeks.

The Panthers are hoping to earn a spot in next Tuesday’s sectional tournament. Panther coach Chance Langeness said Osceola is the favorite to come out of the regional tournament. He said the Panthers will be battling Luck-Frederic, Baldwin-Woodville, Ellsworth and Prescott for one of the other sectional berths.

Somerset

There were happy faces all around the conference tournament. The Somerset girls placed sixth, but for seniors Ally Wittstock and Cally Meixner, their final conference tournament will be remembered as one of the best days of their career. Wittstock and Meixner both tallied the best nine-hole scores of their career on the front nine. Both played well enough on the back nine that their 18-hole scores Thursday also ranked as the best of their careers.

Wittstock shot a 43 on the front nine and followed it with a 48 on the back nine.

“Everything clicked for her,” said Somerset coach Kristin Flater, saying that Wittstock didn’t take higher than a six on any hole on the front nine and she didn’t need more than two putts on any hole.

Meixner has been concentrating on staying out of trouble areas on the course and it showed. She didn’t have any score higher than a seven and only had one of those during each nine holes.

“She played smart and kept the ball straight,” Flater said.

Emma Westmoreland finished at 119 and Grace Bauer at 133. Flater said that Bauer showed marked improvement as a first-year golfer, keeping her score in the 60s on both nines and going without a score in the double-digits the entire round.

WIAA tournaments

All the local girls golf teams were scheduled to play in WIAA regional tournaments this Wednesday. New Richmond was scheduled to host the Division 1 regional, while Somerset and St. Croix Central played at the Division 2 regional at the Frederic Golf Club.

The Division 1 sectional tournament will be played next Monday at Tomah. The Division 2 sectional tournament will be played next Tuesday at Pheasant HIlls Golf Club in Hammond.

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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