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Detroit Lakes sweeps Class 2A boys, girls golf titles

JORDAN, Minn. - The final step in what was a historic season was completed for the Detroit Lakes girls golf team, as the Lakers ran away with the Minnesota Class 2A state championship by 35 strokes.

But the Lakers boys couldn't let the girls team have all of the fun, as Detroit Lakes swept titles at the Ridges at Sand Creek on Wednesday.

The Detroit Lakes girls swept through every 2012 award, winning the team title, the state academic championship, as well as the medalist honors, with eighth-grader Kate Smith shooting a record-setting 4-under par 140.

"It's official, we're the champs," said senior Courtney Hedstrom, who now has been on a Lakers team that has taken a state title, a runner-up finish and two thirds. "We just climbed the ladder each week and kept going, with the state championship being the top."

The 13-year-old Smith was the talk of the tournament Wednesday, with the team championship in little doubt for the Lakers after building a 27-stroke lead following Tuesday's round.

Smith repeated her 2-under par 70 from Tuesday to card a final 4-under 140, which breaks a Class 2A record.

She is the youngest girls golf player to win the state tournament, which started in 1977 for the girls.

"That's Kate," said DL head coach Cali Harrier. "Her goal was to win a state championship. We didn't really know it would come this soon, though."

Sophomore Trisa Hutchinson accomplished her preseason goal of placing in state, finishing fourth with a 154 after firing a 77 Wednesday.

Her 18th hole par putt came up just one inch short, otherwise she would have tied for third.

Every Lakers golfer broke 85 Wednesday, as sophomore Matty Tschider finished with an 82 to place as DL's third best score with a 162.

Following Tschider was sophomore Natalie Roth's 165, Hedstrom's 166 and freshman Sydney Busker's 170.

For the second consecutive season, the Detroit Lakes boys golf team was crowned Class 2A state champions.

In typical Lakers fashion, DL won by the narrowest of margins, topping surging Hermantown by one stroke 601 to 602. The Lakers won the 2011 title by two strokes and also tied with Orono in 2008.

"Sure, we would have liked to have won it more comfortably like the girls did, but a win is a win," said DL sophomore Michael Herzog, whose 2-over par 73 was a key score in Wednesday's second round.

The Lakers held a three-stroke lead over Staples-Motley after Tuesday's first round at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan, but it was Hermantown that stormed up the rankings.

The Hawks tied the Lakers by the turn Wednesday, after trailing by 11 strokes heading into the final round.

"We were worried about Staples-Motley, but then we heard Hermantown was right next to us after nine holes," said junior Austin Rusness. "We knew we were going to have to grind it out from then on."

And that's exactly what the Lakers did after struggling on the front nine.

Junior Karter Smith, who was leading the field after shooting a 5-under par 67 Tuesday, had a 41 on the front. Senior Tyler Baukol, who entered with a one-under par 71, also posted a higher-than-normal score at 43.

But both DL leaders improved their play on the final nine, as Smith finished with a 1-over par 37 to finish with a 78, while Baukol came in with an 81.

"I just got off to a rough start, but I was able to grind it out and shoot for some pars in the middle of my round," Smith said. "Our depth is so good, though, and we have so many good players, all six of us were ready."

In Class 1A boys action in Becker, Minn., Frazee's Beau Hanson finished with a two-day total of 151. He ended up tied for third.

Wierima is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.