Golf: New Richmond girls meet early expectations
The expectations for the New Richmond girls golf team were pretty lofty to start the season.
And the Tigers are already exceeding those expectations.
On Monday, the Tigers played in a tournament at Wild Ridge Golf Course in Eau Claire. Facing many of the teams they'll see in their Division 1 regional tournament, the Tigers won by 57 strokes. And in the process, the Tigers achieved a program first, with two girls scoring in the 70s.
Tiger senior Maggie Veenendall won the tournament by shooting a 75. Tiger junior Jessica Hagman placed third with a 79. There was strong depth to the Tigers' scoring with Lanie Veenendall at 91, Ashley Swiggum at 94 and Sydney Nolan at 111. The Tigers had four of the top 11 scores in the tournament.
That followed a successful opening week of the season, starting with the Middle Border Conference opener at Osceola last Monday. The Tigers shot a 167 to win by 21 strokes. Hagman was medalist. After missing all of last season with a knee injury, she was flawless in her return, shooting a 37. Maggie Veenendall was second at 39, Lanie Veenendall was fifth at 43 and Swiggum tied for ninth at 48. Ali VonWald shot a 55.
Last Wednesday the Tigers hosted their invitational, again facing most of their regional foes. And it was another convincing win. The Tigers shot a 359, finishing 47 strokes ahead of second place River Falls. Maggie Veenendall led the Tigers with a 78 and Hagman shot an 81. Lanie Veenendall shot 99 and Swiggum finished at 101.
Next up in a rapid-fire opening week was a match at Bristol Ridge Golf Club on Thursday. The Tigers won with a 362, 28 strokes ahead of Ellsworth. Maggie Veenendall was medalist at 79. Hagman shot an 85 and Swiggum shot 92. Lanie Veenendall shot 106 and Nolan shot 116 in her first varsity match.
The week ended with the Tigers playing Friday at the La Crosse Country Club. Hagman was ill, so the Tigers went with Maggie Veenendall, Hagman and three freshmen. They still played quite well, shooting a 393 to place third, nine strokes behind champion Stevens Point. Maggie Veenendall led the Tigers with a 79. Swiggum shot 94 and Lanie Veenendall shot 98. Nolan and Stella Kosin played respectably as they adjusted to playing at the varsity level.
St. Croix Central
The Panthers placed third in both matches last week. New Richmond and Ellsworth bring back excellent teams and Central is trying to find ways to stay with the leaders in the MBC race.
Hanna Wehausen led Central with a 50 at Osceola. There was good balance with Brooklyn Mishler at 52, Parker Chladek at 57 and Jenna Wehausen at 59.
"The Wehausen girls really impressed me throughout the day," said Central coach Logan Kimberly. "(Hanna) really improved a lot throughout last year, and she's clearly been putting in some work in the off season."
The Panthers were third again on Thursday at Bristol Ridge with a 440 team score. Mishler led the team with a 101, which placed ninth in the tournament. Hanna Wehausen shot 106, Chladek shot 111, Hannah Schwechler 122 and Jenna Wehausen 123. All five Panthers shot 53 or better on either the front or back nine.
Somerset starts the season with an incredibly young team. But in the course of last week, the Spartans already showed that there's plenty of upside with this team, now and for the future. In the MBC opener last Monday, the Spartans finished in eighth place. But when the Spartans hosted their home invitational last Thursday, the Spartans ranked fourth out of eight teams.
Somerset coach Bill Powers said having junior Haley Myers to lead the team gives the Spartans one of the best scores in every round. She shot an 87 to place fourth in Thursday's match. Freshmen Mackenzie Weeks and Briley Olson shot 115 and 117.
"I think Briley and Mackenzie will be close to 100 by the end of the season," Powers predicted.
Senior Cora Atkins also played her first round of the season Thursday. She showed her ability by shooting a 57 on the front nine.