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MBC boys golf race a battle to the finish

New Richmond senior Tom McKinney has been one of the top players in the Middle Border Conference this season.

Somerset’s golf team carried a lead into the finale of the Middle Border Conference race, but the New Richmond golfers earned a win Friday, May 12 that made the race tighter heading into its final days.

New Richmond played its best round of the season in shooting a 169, winning the meet by 14 strokes. St. Croix Central and Amery tied for second at 183, while Somerset and Baldwin-Woodville tied for fourth at 190.

New Richmond was led by senior Tom McKinney, who earned medalist honors by shooting a 37. Senior Nic Schlicht produced his best round of the season, a 42. Zach Swiggum finished at 43, Sam Christenson at 47 and Blake Peterson at 49.

Tiger coach Jim Saliny said this score was a step in the right direction for the team, saying it will need to continue to improve if it wants to advance in the WIAA Division 1 tournaments.

Somerset was without one of its top players, Alex Lahde, who had a family commitment. In his place the Spartans brought up their top JV player, Francisco Gomez. Wil Gauper and Austin Perry gave the Spartans two strong scores, 39 and 41, but the next best score for the Spartans was a 53.

“As a team we just couldn’t find consistency which added to the pressure for our players,” said Somerset coach Todd Myers.

For the St. Croix Central golfers, it’s stay the course. The Panthers are pretty much locked into fourth place in the conference standings. The Panthers produced their best results of the season in tying for second at Clifton Highlands last Friday.

Drew Malecek tied for second in Friday’s match, shooting a 41. Jared Tilton finished a stroke behind him. Mick Pearson shot 50, Mason Bohatta 52 and Bryan Bresina 54.

The locking up fourth place gave the Panthers a chance to look ahead.

“We are focused on finishing strong and performing well at Regionals,” said Central coach Chris Buckel.

The Panthers also played in the Spring Valley tournament on Saturday, May 13. They earned third place in the team competition, with Malecek finishing second overall.

The big news for the Panthers last week didn’t come from one of the matches they played. It came during a practice round. That’s when Bryan Bresina sank a hole-in-one during a Panther practice at Pheasant Hills Golf Course.

The MBC teams ended up playing two nine-hole rounds at Pheasant Hills Tuesday, May 9 to make up a previous rainout. This was where Somerset extended its lead in the MBC. Somerset won both ninehole matches, shooting 168 on the front and back nine at Pheasant Hills. New Richmond had second and third place finishes.

Amery’s Thomas Christensen was the medalist in the first round with a 37. Perry took second place at 39. Christensen, Perry, Gauper and Malecek all shot 39 on the back nine to tie for medalist honors.

The golfers are now setting their thoughts to the WIAA tournament series. New Richmond will host the WIAA Division 1 regional golf tournament Tuesday, May 23 at the New Richmond Golf Club. Pheasant Hills will be the site of the Division 2 regional meet, with St. Croix Central and Somerset both competing in that meet.

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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