PREP GOLF: Balanced Eagles fly to state
MARSHALL -- On their own, none of them would have made it. But together, Windom's entire girls' golf team qualified for the state tournament. Despite not placing any individuals in the top five on Friday, the young Eagles' squad used its balance ...
MARSHALL -- On their own, none of them would have made it.
But together, Windom's entire girls' golf team qualified for the state tournament.
Despite not placing any individuals in the top five on Friday, the young Eagles' squad used its balance to win the Section 3A title with a total score of 392 -- two strokes ahead of Lincoln HI.
Wabasso (415) finished in third place and Adrian (427) took fourth.
Springfield (320) won the boys' side, led by Dillon Schultz's 3-under 69.
Wabasso (324) was the runner-up, followed by Windom (332) and Westbrook-Walnut Grove (333).
For the Eagle girls, Kelsey Hanefeld (96), Megan Will (98) and Laura Voth (104) kept the balance -- and helped Windom overcome LHI's Malorie Midtaune, who shot an 89.
"We're a really close-knit team and that's what pulled it out for us (Friday)," said Lexie Will, who led the Eagles with a round of 94. "These teams, they have the one good golfer, but consistency really plays a big role in the final score."
Head coach Dave Eyberg used the exact same word to describe his team's victory.
"We needed to have everybody play consistently -- get all of them kind of bunched together instead of having one or two low and then a couple really high," he said.
Voth's score ended up being the difference between a tiebreaker and a two-stroke victory for the Eagles.
She started with a 56 on the back nine, but came back to finish the front nine in 48 strokes.
"Laura struggled that first nine, so it was good to see her come back," Eyberg said.
If she hadn't, the Eagles would have used Maitland Vollan's score, which still would have been good enough for the win.
It took every ounce of energy she had, though.
Vollan fought through a fever and flu-like symptoms to shoot a 106, just a little bit higher than her temperature was.
"I was exhausted," she said, which was apparent as she sprawled out in the shade after firing a 48 on her second nine. "The back round, I knew I had to bring in better scores for my team. I wasn't going to give up, just let the flu get me, because I'm better than that."
A section title might have been the best remedy for Vollan.
"It feels amazing," she said. "I'm in eighth grade, and we're going to state."
Actually, the Eagles sport three eighth graders -- Vollan, Hanefeld and Miki Bolin, who scored a 112.
Voth and Lexie Will are the lone seniors, giving Eyberg a blend of experience and youth.
"That strength of the seniors really helps out," Eyberg said. "They show their maturity, and that's going to go a long way in building those young eighth and ninth-graders that we have."
It's taken them to a section title, with another meet yet to come -- the most important one.
The Class A state meet will start June 16 at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker.
"I think we'll be just fine," Lexie Will said. "We'll go up there with the mindset that we're at state and we've got to buckle down."
That means lower scores than Friday, she said.
"I've been wanting to get in the 80's so bad this year, and (Friday) didn't follow through.
"But we'll need 80's for that meet."
Kelsey Altman led Adrian's girls with a 99, followed by Laura Lorang (105), Carmen Wieneke (107) and Karlee Jackson (116).
Jared Heger carded a 77, and was the top performer for the Windom boys. Hunter Johnson tallied an 83, while Thomas Elness and Tyler Clark each scored 86's.
Jared Lindaman paced W-WG's boys with an 81. Patrick Schweim, Taylor Lindaman and Dana Madson all finished in 84 strokes.