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Section 3A Golf: MCC boys make state

MARSHALL -- The Murray County Central Rebels boy golfers didn't win the Section 3A championship by a few strokes Wednesday. They won it by a lot.

MCC turned in a score of 331 at the Marshall meet, 38 strokes better than runnerup Springfield's 369.

As a result, the Murray County Central boys qualify as a team for the state tournament to be played June 11 and 12 at Pebble Creek east of St. Cloud.

So, too, do the Minneota girls, who bested runnerup Fulda 398 strokes to 410. They, and five other individuals from other teams, will advance to state competition.

Westbrook-Walnut Grove came in third on the boys' side with 371 strokes, and Russell-Tyler-Ruthton had 376. Adrian was third for the girls, with a 416. Wabasso followed with 438 strokes.

The Rebel boys were led Wednesday by Devin Erickson, who shot an 81. Teammates Ben Loosbrock and Adam Christensen, both with 82s, and Grant Everson with an 86 contributed to the team total.

Balance, once again, helped the MCC boys prevail.

"Our first four boys are usually bunched pretty close together," said MCC head coach Kim DeLong. "That's what's kind of neat about it. It's not always the same ones who are leading. And our next two golfers aren't very far behind."

Ironically, DeLong says the Rebels will enter state tournament play with plenty of room for improvement. Though the boys' long game has been solid, she explained Wednesday, the short game --chipping and putting, specifically --need work. Even Erickson, who turned in the Rebels' low score, had six three-putts in the section tourney.

Even so, DeLong doesn't doubt her players' love for golf.

"They live and breathe it," she said. "After a golf meet, they go out and shoot another nine holes. All six of them. They'll be out all summer."

Westbrook-Walnut Grove's Dana Madson and Southwestern United's Kyle Wendland were co-medalists in the boys tournament Wednesday, as both shot a 79. Springfield's Christopher Kretsch and Adrian's Ben Henning were next with 80s, and Fulda's Todd Peterson also qualified with an 84.

Hannah Kruger of Russell-Tyler-Ruthton was girls medalist with an 83. Westbrook-Walnut Grove's Abby Herding totaled 88 strokes while Adrian's Katie Wieneke and Lincoln HI's Kyra Gores both had 92s. Two Springfield golfers, Shelby Schultz and Callie Wersal, tied for the final state tournament spot with 95s. Schultz won the berth in a playoff.

The Fulda girls, who easily won the sub-section championship in Worthington less than a week earlier, had high hopes of advancing to state, said head coach Loren Carlson. But the Raiders had to settle for the second consecutive year as section runnersup.

"We were OK to get second place, but our goal was to win it. We started on the back nine but we didn't shoot as well as we needed to," testified Carlson, who said trees and thick rough posed problems.

Despite that, Carlson said, conditions Wednesday were good. The grass was wet and thick, but there was no rain.