Blaine and Andover girls’ golf teams represented the area well at the Class AAA state golf meet played at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids June 11-12.
The Bengals finished fifth, 44 strokes behind state champion Edina, and Andover placed seventh out of eight teams, 72 strokes behind Edina.
Blaine coach Bill Davids was proud that his team was among the eight top Class AAA teams in the state and shooting a 341 matched his expectations.
Blaine’s Hannah Andrews completed her career as a Bengal with a 19th-place finish and a 164 total score. She scored a day two 81 after an opening round 83 to lead the team.
Caroline Andrews tied for 26th place with rounds of 88 and 79; Rylee Slotsve tied for 59th with rounds of 91 and 88; Leah Swanson tied for 64th with rounds of 85 and 97; Jenna Francen was 80th with rounds of 105 and 93 and Gabby Deden was 88th with rounds of 118 and 104, a career best round.
Caroline’s second round score was Blaine’s first round in the 70s and her personal best score in competition.
Hannah’s strong finish was the best result at state by a Blaine girls’ golfer since 1995 and she completed her fourth season as the Bengals top golfer, finishing her final round with a birdie.
Blaine earned its second straight Section 5AAA Team Academic title with a 3.8 unweighted grade-point average.
Davids pointed out how close this group was, despite what happened on the course. “Our team really tries to have fun and in spite of very real disappointments by some we had a great gathering afterwards and I’m certain that these girls were as close as any team in the state,” he said.
Individually, Andover junior Sierra Langlie led the way with a five-over-par, two-round total score to place seventh. She was 11 strokes behind Wayzata’s Sarah Burnham, who finished six-under for the tournament.
“This year I met my goal to get on the podium and it was one of the best years I’ve had,” Langlie said about her fifth trip to the state meet. “I came out strong, didn’t finish the way I wanted to, but having the team with me was the best support.”
The Huskies made their first appearance in the eight-team state meet, which was a little different for Langlie. She had made it as an individual in each of the last four seasons.
“It’s good to know you can wave to them across the course and it gives you a good feeling if they’re doing good,” Langlie said.
Staying positive was another goal for Langlie.
“I was hitting the ball well and making putts I needed to make so the positive thoughts and mental attitude helped me finish strong,” she said. “I played fairly consistent. If I had a bogey on one hole I came back with a birdie or par.”
The wet conditions didn’t seem to affect Langlie, who calls Bunker Hills her home course. This summer she plans to compete on the junior PGA tour, USGA junior events and the Minnesota Amateur and Open tournaments.
Hailey Tollette tied for 50th with rounds of 78 and 93; Lindsey Peterson was 70th with rounds of 92 and 96; McKenzie Skurat tied for 82nd place with rounds of 102 and 105; Lauren Peterson was 84th with rounds of 108 and 105 and Calie Barnette was 86th with rounds of 108 and 106.
St. Francis teammates Paige Berg and Emily Larson finished within four places of each other in their final high school meet.
Berg followed an opening round 90 with a second-round 86 to finish tied for 50th. Larson, who plans on attending Jamestown State University in North Dakota on an athletic scholarship, carded matching rounds of 89 to tie for 54th place, two shots back of her Saints teammate.
Spring Lake Park freshman Ally Rogers capped her first state tournament experience with rounds of 84 and 96 to tie for 61st place.
Spring Lake Park’s Pete Sienko was hoping for something more than tying for 26th place in the Class AAA state golf meet.
Sienko, the Section 5AAA medalist, played the same Bunker Hills course one week earlier, but couldn’t find that same success against the state’s best with rounds of 75 and 79.
He opened the tournament in the final foursome to tee off on the East Course. He shot a 39 but recovered on the West Course with a 36.
Blaine teammates Frank Lundquist and Dakota Krech didn’t fare much better under the ever-changing weather conditions which ranged from soggy to sunny and everything in between.
Lundquist placed 37th with rounds of 78 and 82.
He recovered from four straight bogeys to open the tournament with more consistent play that wasn’t reflected on the scorecard.
Day two started better for Lundquist as he was even-par through six holes. A 75-minute weather delay didn’t help him as he missed a par putt on hole seven on the East Course when the horn sounded.
“He was real patient with it because the course played really long,” Blaine Coach Kevin Overgaard said about the soggy conditions and layout which he estimated added 500 yards to the course from the section layout.
“The course was soft and for high school kids they generally don’t notice it on the course,” Overgaard said about the conditions.
The distance didn’t seem to bother Lundquist, who finished the tournament on a high note with a birdie on the 18th hole of the day, East Course hole nine.
Meanwhile Krech, a sophomore, could chalk his state tournament to an experience that will only help him in the future.
He tied for 84th place with rounds of 84 and 89, but Overgaard said the key for Krech is to realize the state tournament is a different kind of pressure and it takes experience to learn how to deal with the pressure.
“It’s always a good experience to be able to call on in the future. You don’t need to focus on the result so much, it’s good to there,” he said.
Both plan to play in junior events through Majestic Oaks in Ham Lake.