Golf State Tournament: Championship Recap
Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 10:23 PM
Three teams and two individuals were successful in defending their 2021 titles during the two-day Minnesota State High School League Golf State Tournament. The Fertile-Beltrami boys (Class A), Lake City girls (Class AA) and Alexandria Area girls (Class AAA) repeated with team championships. In the individual competition, Perham senior Mallory Belka (Class AA) and Northfield senior Nate Stevens (Class AAA) defended their titles. Stevens finished in a three-way championship tie with Edina senior Jack Wetzel and Rosemount senior Owen Rexing.
Blaine junior Kathryn VanArragon won a second individual championship. She won the Class AAA individual championship as a seventh-grader in 2018 and captured top honors again this year.
At Pebble Creek in Becker, Fertile-Beltrami repeated as the boys’ team champion, finishing with a score of 632. Marshall School, Duluth, was runner-up at 662 and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa was third at 680. Fertile-Beltrami senior Rylin Petry, who entered the tournament as the defending individual champion, led the Falcons. He placed second this year, finishing one stroke behind junior Cole Witherow of New Life Academy. Witherow won the two-round title with a score of 146 and Petry was one stroke back. Senior Noah Scullard-Bender of Marshall School, Duluth, was at 148.
In the girls’ team event, Legacy Christian Academy returned to the championship podium for the first time since 2015. This was the fourth title for the Lions. They previously won three consecutive championships from 2013-15. Sophomore Emily Brandt led Legacy Christian Academy after winning individual honors with a score of 165. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley freshman Kianna Johnson was second at 166 and Fillmore Central junior Courtney Herschberger placed third at 173.
Lac qui Parle Valley, the defending champion, placed second in the team competition with a score of 723. Park Christian was 18 shots back with a 741.
At Ridge at Sand Creek in Jordan, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, which placed fifth in 2021, climbed to the top spot a season later with the first championship in program history. The Panthers finished with a team score of 616. Senior Anders Larson led the way for the Panthers, placing third overall with score of 145. Holy Family Catholic was in hot pursuit, finishing second at 620. Roseau was third with a 634.
St. Croix Lutheran Academy freshman Sam Udovich captured medalist honors with a score of 142. Southwest Christian junior Jacob Ferrin was two strokes back.
Becasue of inclement weather, the girls tournament was shortened to 27 holes. Lake City successfully defended its title in the girls’ team tournament with a composite score of 491 to earn its second championship. Sophomore Ella Matzke led the Tigers with a runner-up in the individual tournament when she carded a score of 117. Fergus Falls was second in the team event at 530 and Pequot Lakes was five strokes back in third.
Perham senior Mallory Belka earned her second consecutive crown in the individual event with a 27-hole score of 114. Park Rapids Area sophomore Anna Eckmann was third behind Matzke with a 119.
At Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids, Edina improved on last year’s runner-up finish by capturing its sixth title in the boys’ team tournament with a score of 589. The Hornets won previously in 1954, 1970, 1987, 2014 and 2019. Edina West also claimed three championships in 1973, 1977 and 1978. Senior Jack Wetzel was Edina's top performer, tying for championship honors with a 4-under-par 140. Two others shared the blue-ribboned gold medal with Wetzel. They were Northfield senior Nate Stevens, the defending Class AAA champion and Rosemount senior Owen Rexing.
Spring Lake Park was the runner-up with a 603 and Alexandria Area, the defending Class AAA champion, was third with a 612.
In the girls' state tournament, Alexandria Area was successful in defending its team title. The Cardinals earned their second consecutive crown, and fifth overall, with a score of 628. Championship seasons also came in 1977, 1978, and 1992. Maple Grove was the Class AAA with 644 and Eastview 10 back in third.
In a tight race for the girls individual championships, three golfers finished within four strokes of one another. Blaine junior Kathryn VanArragon, the individual champion in 2018, carded a two-round 135. Simley senior Isabella McCauley edged her younger sister, Reese, for a runner-up finish. She was second with a 137, and Reese, the 2021 individual champion, had a 139 for third place.