By Rob LaPlante
Crow River News Sports
The new condensed schedule has the St. Michael-Albertville girls’ golf squad putting on a lot of extra miles.
With snow, rain and cold pushing the golf season back an extra two weeks, the girls’ squad finally hit the links for real on April 29 at the 2-person, Annandale Scramble played at Southbrook Golf Course.
Monticello won the seven-team meet, shooting a team best score of 78. STMA finished two strokes behind in second place with an 80.
Medaling was the tandem of Kylie Slavin, a senior and sophomore Kate Drimel, shooting an even par-36 in the 9-hole event. Senior’s Maddie Malone and Megan Cichos shot a 44, as did sophomore’s Lucy Arndt and Karli Buckmeier.
“It was great to get out and play,” said STMA head coach Mitch Harmoning. “Any opportunity this spring to play is a good day and I think the girls enjoyed the first round of the year being a team situation.”
The following day, STMA was at Pebble Creek in Becker for the first round of the 9-hole Mississippi 8 invite.
STMA shot a 190 and finished a stroke ahead of Monticello’s 191, but finished a distant second to Buffalo’s top score of 172. Slavin finished with STMA’s top score of 42. Her round of nine included three pars and a birdie. Buckmeier shot a 48 and Malone and Drimel each carded a 50.
The Knights hosted round two of the M-8 invite on May 2 at Riverwood National in Monticello. The girls battled cold and windy conditions for their first 18-hole meet of the season.
STMA finished the day in third place behind both Buffalo and Monticello. The Bison again ran away with the top score of 327. Monticello edged STMA for second place with a 366. STMA 368, Rogers 387, Cambridge-Isanti 399 and Big Lake 408 rounded out the field.
Slavin shot an 88 on a par-71. Drimel shot a 92. Prisca Engleman – a senior foreign exchange student from Germany – cracked the top four with a 93 and Buckmeier finished with a 95.
“Monticello and us are pretty evenly matched,” Harmoning said. “I can’t see anyone catching Buffalo. They have a lot of talent.”
With no rest for the weary, STMA was at it again on May 3 with an 18-hole invitational at the Minnewaska Golf Club. STMA finished with similar results shooting a 383 led by Slavin (90), Drimel (95), Malone (96) and Buckmeier (102)
“The girls were tired from playing four meets in five days,” Harmoning said. “I think they were physically and mentally tired.”
The wear and tear seemed apparent in the team’s fifth meet in six days when the Knights finished 10th out of 13 at the Alexandria Invite.
Boys finish M-8 meets in top 3
The STMA boys’ golfers hit the links for the first time at the M-8 meet on April 30 at Fox Hollow.
STMA finished the 18-hole meet in third place, shooting a 327. Buffalo finished second with 325 and Rogers – undefeated in conference play over the past five years again took top honors.
STMA’s top finishers were senior Zac Borgen shooting an 80. Senior’s Ryan Swenson and Matt Borgen each fired an 82 and senior Jedd Helgestad finished with an 83. Missing the top-4 cut was senior Brett Marshall (84) and junior Kevin McDonald (96).
Round two of the M-8 meet was last Thursday at Pebble Creek in Becker. Although its team score was two strokes higher from the previous meet, STMA’s score of 329 finished second only to Rogers’ 314. Cambridge-Isanti shot a 344, Monticello 354, Buffalo 356 and Big Lake was last with a 390.
Tied for the top score were Rogers’ Margan Rask and Cambridge-Isanti’s Matt Swanson, each shooting a 73 on the par-72 course.
STMA’s Zac Borgen and Swenson tied for a team best 80. Marshall finished third with an 82 and first-time eighth grade varsity starter Carson Wooters cracked the top four shooting an 87. Matt Borgen (88) and Helgestad (89) rounded out varsity play.
“For an eighth grader, Wooters put up a good score,” said boys’ head coach Mike Fore. “We’re still not quite sure about our fourth score, but we are happy so far with the play of Swenson and Zac Borgen and Helgestad will still play at the No. 2 spot.”
The Knights were at Hastings on Monday and shot a 329, good for ninth place out of 22 teams. Swenson shot a 79, followed by Matt Borgen’s 82, Zac Borgen’s 83 and Marshall’s 85.