Lakers erase deficit to win fifth state title in six years
The Detroit Lakes girls golf team recorded their best team score of the season at the perfect time to erase a five-shot deficit to Lake City and win by four strokes for a fifth Minnesota Class AA state championship in the past six seasons Wednesday in Jordan.
"It's so cool, your last time being a Laker, being able to accomplish winning a state championship, especially under the conditions we had this year," said senior Abby Schramel.
Those conditions revolved precisely on playing without five-time individual champion Kate Smith and making their own mark as a team.
"For me it was a must-have; I wanted to show everyone that we could do it without her," junior Maddie Herzog said. "My family and our team believed we could do it. It was something special."
The low four Lakers: Herzog and Shelby Busker (77s) and Schramel and Anna Cihak (79s) totaled 312, the best combined rounds of the season.
"To have four of our girls break 80, which we haven't had once all season, it was a really special day for them,” Laker head coach Kris Smith said. “Feeling pretty good about how we attacked it today and everything fell into place.”
"Having everyone in the 70s today, that was just crazy," said Schramel. "We always say we want to peak at state, and today we buckled down and got it done."
Herzog took charge of the team and played the lead role at both the section and state level finding a way to get that job done in the top spot.
"I would like to be the leader of the team," said Herzog. "I've been playing well all year and it was a good feeling to bring us home and win. Amazing, it couldn't be any better. To be on the podium, too, was special to me."
Herzog placed fifth overall individually.
“She was the anchor the last two days and the air gets really thin down the stretch,” Coach Smith said. “She finished it off really well.”
Busker also reached the podium in seventh place.
“Shelby is a special girl with a special game and she just has to find it and be consistent because she has game,” Coach Smith said.
Team was the story of day two as the Lakers outscored Lake City by nine strokes and blew away their season scoring average.
"At the end of sections, we're a 328 team, that's our average. How do we do this?” said Coach Smith. “They were going to have to do something special and yesterday was special, just to hang in there with the bad conditions. Today, to shoot the lowest team total that we've shot all season is...pretty good."
Smith walked in with Schramel, his lone senior, from the sixth hole on with a premonition that if she could cut 81 the Lakers had a chance. Schramel shot an unusual 87 day one.
“That’s six strokes right there,” Smith said. "I give them credit that they've been here before and they've done it.”
The Lakers made up the five stroke deficit early and went to the turn tied with Lake City, largely on the back of Cihak, a freshman, shooting a two-over 38, the lowest on the team. If DL was searching for one thing it was a fourth score and Cihak provided that with a clutch round on the biggest stage of the season.
All four of the Lakers’ scoring golfers finished in the top 20. Lauren Tschider finished in 31st place. McKenna Mallow was 72nd
The Lakers also wore black ribbons in support of Chloe Conn and her family. Conn passed away in an early June accident while hiking on a trail on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. She was a friend of Mallow’s and many of the junior varsity golfers in Detroit Lakes.
The state title is the sixth in program history for Detroit Lakes (2006, 2012-14, 2016-17).
Anni Heck became a two-time state champion shooting 144 to win the individual competition by three strokes over Ashlyn Guggisberg of Minnewaska (147).
Minnesota Class AA State girls golf tournament,
Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan, Minn. Wednesday, June 14
1 Detroit Lakes 649
2 Lake City 653
3 Visitation 673
4 Minnewaska 684
5 Breck 692
6 International Falls 727
7 Jordan 732
8 Osakis 803
Top seven individuals
1 Anni Heck Visitation 144
2 Ashlyn Guggisberg Minnewaska 147
3 Alex Stone Pequot Lakes 151
3 Alayna Eldred Osakis 151
5 Maddie Herzog Detroit Lakes 155
6 Lexi Geolat Lake City 157
7 Ally Tiedemann Crookston 161
7 Shelby Busker Detroit Lakes 161
5 Maddie Herzog 38-40 39-38 155
7 Shelby Busker 45-39 39-38 161
15 Abby Schramel 45-42 40-39 166
17 Anna Cihak 43-45 38-41 167
31 Lauren Tschider 44-44 43-47 178
72 McKenna Mallow 48-50 46-56 200