Girls golf preview

Girls golf in the ABC Newspapers coverage area is as strong as ever with Class A state champion Legacy returning several key players. Andover senior Sierra Langlie will attempt to make a sixth state appearance and Blaine will look to duplicate last spring’s successful run to the section team title.

Legacy Christian
Coach: Dan Nelson, third season
Outlook: The defending Class A state champions will return with all six state golfers that bettered runner-up Badger-Greenbush-Middle River by 19 strokes on the Pebble Creek course. Legacy, which didn’t have a junior or senior on the roster, cut 13 strokes from its previous best team score.

Legacy freshman Kayla Ruf swings an iron inside the teams simulator Tuesday. Submitted photo

Legacy freshman Kayla Ruf swings an iron inside the teams simulator Tuesday. Submitted photo

Coach Dan Nelson attributed the success to a young team consistently shooting lower and lower scores before peaking at the right time.
“Their unexpected win [at state] not only inspired the girls to work extremely hard last summer, but also disciplined their work ethic this winter,” Nelson said after posting a fourth place finish at the 2012 state meet. “So while they are young, they don’t lack experience.
Now a freshman, Kayla Ruf led the way with an all-state performance to place 18th overall. Her rounds of 92 and 93 strokes were 23 strokes off the lead. Junior Anna Cleveland was 21st, eighth-grader Sophie Gray and junior Jillian Johnson were 23rd and 25th overall, respectively.
Coach Dan Nelson said the team spent the off season in the weight room and on the practice ranges to improve. A school strength and conditioning coach has the team doing a thera-band style workout that focuses on specific core and swing muscles. “The snow has actually helped us… we continued on with that workout everyday last year even when we got outside. Because of their success last year they jumped right back into it this spring.”
The Lions built a homemade golf simulator with an Optishot program to help aid practice sessions until the weather becomes playable.
All six state golfers played on the junior PGA events last summer. Ruf continued professional lessons and Gray has played a lot of golf over the last month. Her older sister, Rachel, is a sophomore golfer at Concordia University, St. Paul and the family has followed the team over the last month.

Andover
Coach: Wade Johnson, fourth season
Outlook: Senior captain Sierra Langlie leads a group of six returning golfers who helped in a second-place Northwest Suburban Conference finish.

Andover senior captain Sierra Langlie is in line for a sixth trip to the Class AAA state golf meet.

Andover senior captain Sierra Langlie is in line for a sixth trip to the Class AAA state golf meet.Photo by Bill Jones

Langlie will golf at Augustana College next year and is the defending Section 7AAA medalist and three-time all-state golfer with finishes of 14th, 10th and a personal best seventh in 2013. She placed 32nd at state as a seventh grader and 12th as an eighth grader.
Hailey Tollette placed 50th in her first state meet. Joining Langlie and Tollette with experience are Lauren Peterson, Lindsey Peterson, Callie Barnette and McKenzie Skurat.

Anoka
Coach: Scott Boline
Outlook: Anoka will have a young team with 12 underclassmen making up the majority of the roster. Lone senior Abby Lerom will captain the squad along with junior Julia Mantey.
Boline hopes to develop experience as soon as possible. “The weather has been tough on outdoor practice, but we have adapted as well as possible with our indoor practices,” he said. Boline hopes the team will practice outside on the course at least once before the April 15 opening round.

Blaine
Coach: Maribeth Suter, eighth season
Outlook: The defending Northwest Suburban Conference and Section 7AAA champions look to build on the wins to improve on a fifth place finish at the Class AAA state meet.
Caroline Andrews, Jenna Francen and Rylee Slotsve are three of the returns who will be relied on to shoot low rounds once again.
Andrews tied for 26th place at state with rounds of 88 and 79 and Slotsve tied for 59th place with rounds of 91 and 88.

Spring Lake Park
Coach: Tom Benson, 20th season
Outlook: The Panthers return with four varsity members including sophomore Ally Rogers who tied for 61st in her first trip to the state meet with rounds of 84 and 96. Rogers and juniors Ali Schultz and Allie Guzy garnered all-conference honors.
Benson says the team has plenty of experience to compete for the final North Suburban Conference title. “Just hope to be able to get out consistently on the course this spring so the girls have a chance to work on their game,” Benson said.

St. Francis
Coach: Brent Swaggert
Outlook: The Saints posted a third place finish in the North Suburban Conference and fourth place as a team in Section 7AAA.
Junior captain Alex Hillesheim returns after earning all-conference honors and competing on the second day of the section tournament.
Senior Maddie Linder is another key varsity player to contribute.
Besides those upperclassmen, a group of five to breakout for the varsity team includessophomores: Kalley Wagner, Maddie Weinman, Shelby Larson, Megan Grandstrand and Lindsey Anderson and junior Kristin Hane.

Coon Rapids
Coach: Chad Kuehne
Outlook: Coach did not respond to requests for information.

Jason Olson is at
jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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