Anna Eckmann claimed medalist honors twice as the Park Rapids girls golf team completed a perfect season in Northern Pines Conference play by winning both events at Bemidji’s Castle Highlands Golf Course on Tuesday, May 11.
Eckmann carded a 41 on the front side as the Panthers topped the nine-team field with a three-golfer team score of 134. Eckmann followed with a 38 on the back side as Park Rapids carded a 137 to finish atop the team standings in all six NPC meets.
In the boys meet, Park Rapids finished second with a 163 on the front side as Tate Usher shared medalist honors with a 37 and followed with a runner-up finish with a 168 on the back side. Despite the two runner-up finishes, the Panthers captured the overall NPC title by winning three meets and placing second three times.
United North Central was third on the front side with a 163 and led the field with a 155 on the back side behind Nick Wurdock’s medalist round of 34 to finish second in the overall standings. The Warriors won one meet, finished second twice and took third three times. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, which won the other two NPC meets, finished in third place after the six meets in the 10-team field.
The Panthers turned in another dominant performance to cap off a perfect season in NPC play.
Mady Maninga followed Eckmann on the front side with a 43 while Emily Schulz’s 50 rounded out Park Rapids’ team score. Lexi Usher (51), Emma Vrieze (55) and Natalie Backmann (55) also competed for the Panthers.
United North Central’s Alayna Day carded a 49 while Sofia Anderson (54) and Sarah Boettcher (67) competed for Nevis. Bigfork finished second with a 161.
On the back side, Maninga’s 44 and Vrieze’s 55 completed Park Rapids’ team score with Usher (56), Schulz (59) and Backmann (65) following.
Day carded a 43, Anderson had a 54 and Boettcher followed with a 55. Bigfork carded a runner-up 152.
Eckmann (who was the medalist in the final three NPC meets) and Maninga (who was the medalist in the first three NPC meets) headlined the NPC First Team. Eckmann compiled 161 strokes in her top four meets to earn overall medalist honors while Maninga followed with 167 strokes. Also earning all-conference honors were Day (181 strokes), Usher (208 strokes) and Schulz (217 strokes).
Team scores (front 9): Park Rapids 134, Bigfork 161, Pine River-Backus 166. Incomplete teams: Nevis, United North Central, Blackduck, Cass Lake-Bena, Kelliher-Northome, Red Lake, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Medalist: Anna Eckmann, PR, 41. 2, Mady Manninga, PR, 43. 3, Nakomis Mitchell, CL-B, 44. Other scores: Alayan Day, UNC, 49; Emily Schulz, PR, 50; Lexi Usher, PR, 51; Sofia Anderson, N, 54; Emma Vrieze, PR, 55; Natalie Backmann, PR, 55; Sarah Boettcher, N, 67.
Team scores (back 9): Park Rapids 137, Bigfork 152, Pine River-Backus 165. Incomplete teams: Nevis, United North Central, Blackduck, Cass Lake-Bena, Kelliher-Northome, Red Lake, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Medalist: Anna Eckmann, PR, 38. 2, Nakomis Mitchell, CL-B, 39. 3 (tie), Alayna Day, UNC, and Mattea Wick, Bigfork, 43. Other scores: Mady Maninga, PR, 44; Sofia Anderson, N, 54; Emma Vrieze, PR, 55; Sarah Boettcher, N, 55; Lexi Usher, PR, 56; Emily Schulz, PR, 59; Natalie Backmann, PR, 65.
Panthers win title
Two solid rounds led the Panthers to a pair of runner-up finishes in the conference finale.
Alec Nordin’s 40, Isaiah Phillippi’s 42 and a pair of 44s by Nolan Eckmann and Kenton Klein led Park Rapids to runner-up honors on the front side. Hunter Harrison added a 47.
UNC was led by Andreas Aho’s 39, Wurdock’s 40, Joey Hillukka’s 41 and Carter Hillukka’s 43 on the front side. Andrew Litzau had a 45 and Ryan Tolkkinen carded a 52 for the Warriors.
Nevis finished fifth with a 182 as Ethan Lewis’ 43, Ty Warrington’s 45, Spencer Lindow’s 45 and Lealan Norby’s 49 led the way. Daniel Lindow carded a 51 and Blaine Leckie had a 56.
Aho followed Wurdock’s medalist round with a runner-up 40 as the Warriors led the pack on the back nine. Carter Hillukka’s 41 and Tolkkinen’s 42 completed UNC’s team score while Litzau (48) and Joey Hillukka (51) followed.
Klein led the way with a 40 while a pair of 42s by Usher and Phillippi and 44s by Eckmann and Harrison gave Park Rapids a runner-up finish on the back side. Nordin added a 54.
Nevis used 46s by Norby, Lewis, Leckie and Daniel Lindow for a 184 to place fifth. Warrington added a 48 and Spencer Lindow had a 51.
Usher was the overall medalist with 151 strokes in his top four NPC meets. Aho was second with 154 strokes while Wurdock was third at 156 and Carter Hillukka was fifth at 160 to headline the First Team. Earning all-conference Second Team honors for the Panthers were Eckmann (164), Phillippi (166) and Nordin (166).