UNC's Paulson returns to state meet
United North Central's Steph Paulson earned a return trip to the state Class A girls golf tournament by carding a 92 at Tuesday's Section 6A meet at Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls.
Paulson, who tied for fifth place at last year's state Class A meet, earned the second individual state berth from Section 6A in leading the Warriors to third place with a 419.
"I knew the section would be more competitive with the addition of Hawley and no significant losses due to graduation," said UNC head coach Tim Wurdock. "I felt that if Steph worked hard this year like she had in all the previous years, she would have a great chance (of qualifying for state). Steph has battled illness and injury late this season. She did have to grind a little more than usual. She has worked hard to put together a complete game. Steph now has a short game that can save her if her driver goes off course. She came through with a very good round."
Mahnomen, led by Stephanie Trnka's 85 and Kyla Omang's 88, won the section title with a 380. Ada-Borup, led by Shaylyn Fassino's 91, finished second with a 405. Barnesville/Rothsay was fourth with a 421.
Rounding out the Warriors' team score were Lauren Ohlgren with a 102, Heather Brostrom with a 110, Allison Ohlgren with a 115 and Tasha Maninga with a 118. UNC qualified for the section meet for only the second time in school history. The Warriors qualified for their first section meet in 2003.
Lauren Ohlgren was two spots away from returning to the state meet. Ohlgren ended up finishing seventh individually as the top-five qualified for state.
"I am very proud of Lauren. She missed qualifying for state by two places. She also worked hard this year and was a model team player," said Wurdock. "I am very proud of the team. They took third at sections, which was a little unexpected. The younger players played very well."
UNC advanced to the section meet by finishing second at the North Subsection 6A meet at Fergus Falls on May 21 with a 415. Paulson earned medalist honors in that meet with a 91. Lauren Ohlgren's 101, Brostrom's 107, Maninga's 116 and Allison Ohlgren's 121 completed the Warriors' team score. Barnesville/ Rothsay won the subsection title with a 397.
In the boys meet, Hawley used Brett Severson's 79 to claim the section title with a 337. Battle Lake was second with a 339, Barnesville took third with a 349 and Nevis was fourth with a 359.
Leading Nevis were Hunter Schroeder with an 87, Michael Kempnich and Chris Kirschman with 90s, Mitch Rehkamp with a 92, Nolan Toft with a 94 and Matt Halik with a 99. The cut-off for a state berth was an 83 by Park Christian's Brett Harmelink.
The Tigers advanced to the section meet by carding a runner-up 347 at the subsection meet. Hawley used Cody Cedarberg's 73 and Brandon Sletmoen's 79 to win the subsection title with a 316.
Leading Nevis at the subsection meet were Schroeder with a 79 for third place and Toft with an 80 for fifth place. Kirschman's 92, Kempnich's 96, Rehkamp's 97 and Halik's 101 completed the Tigers' scorecard.
United North Central's Mike Wing shot a 91 in his section debut Tuesday. Wing shot an 88 at the subsection meet and needed a birdie on the first sudden-death playoff hole to claim the final section berth.
UNC finished sixth at the subsection meet with a 392. Following Wing were Luke Hillukka with a 98, Cody Brostrom with a 101, Andrew Holmer with a 105, Drew Maninga with a 110 and Gerald Klemz with a 126.
The state Class A meet is June 3-4 at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker.
"I don't have a lot of expectations for Steph, other than I expect she works very hard this week to prepare for the state tournament," said Wurdock. "After that it is a matter of just having fun and playing."
Section 6A girls team scores: Mahnomen 380, Ada-Borup 405, United North Central 419, Barnesville/Rothsay 421.
Individual state qualifiers
Medalist: Stephanie Trnka, Mahnomen, 85. 2, Kyla Omang, Mahnomen, 88. 3, Shaylyn Fassino, Ada-Borup, 91. 4, Stephanie Paulson, United North Central, 92. 5, Mattie Ellenson, Henning, 92. 6, Lexi Mattfeld, Hawley, 92. 7, Jennifer Kurtz, Barnesville/Rothsay, 96.
Section 6A boys team scores: Hawley 337, Battle Lake 339, Barnesville 349, Nevis 359.
Individual state qualifiers
Medalist: Brett Severson, Hawley, 79. 2, Taylor Frank, Battle Lake, 80. 3, Ben Kline, Pine River-Backus, 80. 4, Ryan LeNoue, Barnesville, 81. 5, Jacob Ukkelberg, Battle Lake, 82. 6, Brett Harmelink, Park Christian, 83.