WHS GOLF PREVIEW: Trojans ready to go greenWORTHINGTON — A 15-year drought was snapped last season when Worthington’s Kate Lesnar qualified for the girls’ state golf tournament in 2011.
WORTHINGTON — A 15-year drought was snapped last season when Worthington’s Kate Lesnar qualified for the girls’ state golf tournament in 2011.
This year, the Trojans are hoping to advance even more members of the boys’ and girls’ squad to state in hopes of establishing a golfing tradition at Worthington High School.
“Both varsity teams are looking very strong,” Worthington boys’ and girls’ coach Ron Wood said. “It should be one of the better groups we’ve had in awhile.”
Lesnar, now a junior, finished 42nd at the state tournament last year. She shot a 181 over two days at state, tying with Hermantown’s Molly Kolquist, Pequot Lakes’ Maggie Haggerston, Visitation’s Peggy Jackson and Holy Family’s Bridget Cummings.
This year, Lesnar leads junior Morgan Harberts, junior McKenzie Hurley, junior Genna Putnam and senior Mariah Haffield as the top-5 golfers on the Trojan squad.
Sophomores Kia Veen, Rebecca Christensen and Tyree Murray will compete for the sixth spot on the starting team.
“Last year, the girls’ team had over 30 wins and I’d guess we’ll be in that ballpark again this year,” Wood said. “Kate Lesnar should be good again this year and with all the varsity experience some of the others have, they should all improve this season as well.”
The boys’ team, too, is looking to advance some people to state.
Right now, there are seven golfers fighting for six spots on the varisty squad.
Junior Seth Meier, junior Jacob Woll, freshman Alex Kremer, senior Dalton Johnson, sophomore Jacob Weg, sophomore Zach Heidibrink and freshman Will Mulder are all competing for starting roles.
Wood said the boys played a lot of rounds of golf during the summer and should improve tremendously from last season.
He said, however, there is a big difference between competing in a meet and playing a round of golf for fun, so the boys will still be put to the test once the season starts.
“Last year I think we had 13 wins and 28 or 29 losses on the boys’ side,” Wood said. “I’d guess that we can completely reverse that this year. We should be a good team and I think we’re going to surprise a lot of teams this year.”
The Worthington squads begin their season Thursday in a home dual meet against Fulda. As of right now, the meet is taking place at the Worthington Country Club, but there is a chance — because of scheduling issues —the meet could be moved to Prairie View.
Several state qualifiers return to course
As far as the rest of southwest Minnesota goes, there are several 2011 state participants that are returning to the golf course this season.
For boys, Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Dana Madson returns for his junior season. Last year, Madson finished 13th at state, shooting a 159 over two days.
The girls’ golf state tournament participants are back this season as well.
Windom’s Megan Will finished 22nd in Class A in 2011, shooting a 184 over two days. Fulda’s Tessa Kramer finished 45th last year in Class A, shooting a 195.
In Class AA, Jackson County Central’s Kaylee Benson finished third in Class AA last year, shooting a 151 over two days.
She is expected to golf this year — her senior season — after missing all but one game of the basketball season due to recovery from knee surgery.
Each area team brings a handful of skilled golfers to the courses this spring and are looking to improve their showing at the state tournament this time around.
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.