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DL girl linksters prepare to make push through section

Memories of the 2006 state championship season are creeping back into the minds of Detroit Lakes girls' golf pundits, as the Lakers prepare for the upcoming Section 8-2A Sub-Section meet.

Although the 2008 Laker version hasn't been as dominant as the 2006 one, DL is heading into section play as one of the favorites.

They currently hold the fourth ranking in Class 2A, with an average of 362.4. The Lakers defeated Staples-Motley (the No. 3 ranked team) in the Mid-State Conference meet, lending more confidence for the sections.

The Lakers have some good ingredients heading into postseason play, with a top player in senior Danelle Olson -- ranked sixth in Class 2A with a 79.7 average -- and a solid group of teammates in support.

"I think we have a great shot in the section," said DL head coach Jennifer Hendrickson, who is undertaking her second year in that capacity. "Our short game is getting better and the confidence is getting better."

Two of players on that Class 2A state championship team of 2006 will be main contributors in this year's run.

Olson and junior Robin Hutchinson each were on the team during that memorable season, and their experience alone in some big, pressurized meets will be precious.

"It will help that Robin and I each felt the pressure before and know how to deal with it," Olson said. "But we are just going to focus on what's on hand and not look too far ahead of ourselves."

Olson and Hutchinson were solid role players in 2006, behind such top seniors as Christine Herzog and Amy Anderson providing the leadership.

Now, the duo find themselves as the leaders in a season where they hope to find themselves at the state Class 2A meet once again.

"Part of that is maturing as a golfer and transfering that to play," Olson said. "This year, we have confidence, too -- because our three through six golfers have shot sub-90, we feel we have every piece."

Senior Caitlin Berg has been hovering around the 90 mark all season, and was second in the Mid-State meet to Olson with a 90.

Others such as Katie Engberg, Courtney Hedstrom and Katie Osowski have broken the 90 mark, which would be important in the sub-section and section meets if Olson and Hutchinson shoot their normal scores.

"If we can get an 89 for our third score, that would be big," Hendrickson said. "We are focusing, too, not to have a string of bad holes. They need to learn how to not follow a bad shot with another bad shot."

Both the sub-section and section meet will be held at Wildflower Golf Course, with which the DL team is very familiar.

The sub-section is Tuesday, while the section --which takes the top two teams from the sub-section and the top 12 individuals not on those teams -- is Tuesday, May 27.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes Invite at the Detroit Country Club, Tuesday, May 13.

Team results: Detroit Lakes 353, Fergus falls 368, East Grand Forks 369, Grand Rapids 381, Bemidji 390, Crookston 393, Roseau 394, Pequot Lakes 420, Warroad 435, Moorhead 478, Pelican Rapids 481, Park Rapids 483, Oak Grove 511.

Top six individuals -- Medalist: Erin Morstad (FF) 82; Robin Hutchinson (DL) 84, Leah Jensen (EGF) 85, Katie Cooper (GR) 85, Mikki Krony (GR) 85, Danelle Olson (DL) 86.

DL results -- 2. Hutchinson 43-41-84; 6. Olson 42-44-86; Courtney Hedstrom 43-48-91; Caitlin Berg 44-48-92; Katie Engberg 50-51-101.