Golf: Panthers earn conference team titles

Spring Lake Park boys’ golf repeated as North Suburban Conference champions by winning the championship match by four strokes against Benilde-St. Margaret’s May 21. The Panthers were 19 strokes ahead of third-place North Branch and 27 strokes ahead of sixth-place St. Francis.

Spring Lake Park's Michael Vandenbrook watches his chip-shot reach the green at Majestic Oaks. Photo by Bill Jones

Spring Lake Park’s Michael Vandenbrook watches his chip-shot reach the green at Majestic Oaks. Photo by Bill Jones

The Panthers were led by medalist Pete Sienko, who shot a 74 to lead a group of five All-Conference selections – Tanner Ylvisaker (77), Charlie Glasser (78), Jack Hiemenz (78) and Nick Turnquist (81). Brett Bolf (85) earned All-Conference honorable mention honors.

Glasser shot a 35 on the back nine after opening with a 43 on the front nine.

Spring Lake Park Coach Will Wackman said one meet to decide a conference champion put the pressure on his players to make the right shots for the entire round. “It was a very high-stakes round,” he said. “Our team is as deep as we have ever been and we lettered eight guys this year. All of the kids have contributed.”

Spring Lake Park's Brett Bolf watches his ball sail down the fairway at Majestic Oaks. Photo by Bill Jones

Spring Lake Park’s Brett Bolf watches his ball sail down the fairway at Majestic Oaks. Photo by Bill Jones

The conference title was the first team goal for the season and now the focus has shifted to sections, Wackman said.

“We have been very consistent this year, but to win a section title we have to be even better,” he said.

Spring Lake Park will face powers like Rogers, Maple Grove, Blaine and Mounds View in Section 5AAA, which is scheduled for May 30 at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.

“The kids have worked hard to put themselves in position to have a great day, now they have to go out and execute,” Wackman said.

St. Francis' Nick Grantstrand eyes up a putt at Majestic Oaks. Photo by Bill Jones

St. Francis’ Nick Grantstrand eyes up a putt at Majestic Oaks. Photo by Bill Jones

St. Francis’ Kyle Wagner and Mitch Zebro earned All-Conference honors and Brett Aldrich earned All-Conference honorable mention honors.

Girls

Spring Lake Park shared a conference title with Benilde-St. Margaret’s as each team carded a 385 team score, 10 strokes ahead of third place St. Francis.

Irondale’s Lindsey Kueng earned medalist honors with a round of 85. The Saints Emily Larson and Paige Berg were both named to the All-Conference team along with Spring Lake Park’s Ally Rogers, Ali Schultz, Ali Guzy and Sam Auman.

St. Francis’ Alex Hellesheim earned All-Conference honorable mention honors.

Blaine boys

The Bengals picked up a second Northwest Suburban Conference tournament win last week out of the five played so far this spring to stay in second place in the season-long standings.

This came after Blaine fired its lowest team score in three years (302) to tie Maple Grove for the team win at the Bunker Invite May 7. Blaine sophomore Dakota Kretch earned medalist honors with a 69 and teammate Mason Landborg was four strokes back with a 73. Kretch carded a 72 to win the season-ending conference tournament in 2012, so he seems to really enjoy playing on the course which hosts the state tournament and the site of two meets over the next 10 days for the Bengals.

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