The Detroit Lakes girls golf team continued a perfect streak of reaching the podium in every state meet with a third place finish at the Minnesota Class AA state golf tournament in Jordan Wednesday, June 12.
The Lakers have made 12 appearances at state winning seven titles, and adding two second place marks and three third place finishes in program history. Continuing that Laker tradition is important to today’s players.
“We look back and when I was younger it was Kate (Smith) and Trisa (Hutchinson) and Natalie (Roth),” Anna Cihak said. “Growing up as a golfer, I always wanted to be those girls. When they see us finishing anywhere on the podium, kids look at us like I want to be like Shelby Busker or I want to be like Anna Cihak and McKenna Mallow. It means a lot and shows that we can do it. It provides a lot for our program.”
Cihak placed third overall individually with a two-day score of 152 improving on a sixth place finish in 2018.
“I just came out and played like I knew I could,” said Cihak. “It shows a lot about my game but I don’t care about me individually; I care about the whole team in perspective.”
Busker also made the podium in eighth place. Mallow put three Lakers in the top 20 finishing in a tie for 20th overall.
The top three teams Minnewaska/BBE, Red Wing and Detroit Lakes separated from the remaining five clubs at the turn. DL trailed Minnewaska/BBE by 17 strokes and Red Wing by seven.
The Lakers and head coach Kris Smith believed that gap could be made up prior to the start of the round..
“In girl’s golf, and at Ridges, if you play holes one and 18 well you’ll win,” said Smith. “A lot of shots are made up on one and 18. If you start out well and can get in the house with a lot of pars and a birdie on 18 you can pass a lot of people.”
Smith and the Laker team wanted to be optimistic at the turn.
“Coming from behind is comfortable, the girls were more relaxed,” said Smith. “We just wanted to fill the gap.”
That did not happen and it was Red Wing (656), led by two-time champion Sophia Yoemans and teammate Leah Herzog, that made up strokes to pull off a come-from-behind, one-stroke team victory over Minnewaska/BBE (647).
Yoemans shot 69 both days to win her third straight state title, by seven strokes over Herzog. Yeomans also earned a AAA championship in 2017.
Red Wing was the last team to capture the girls AA title other than Detroit Lakes in 2015.
The third place Lakers scored 662 finishing 36 strokes in front of fourth place Jordan on its home course.
Minnesota Class AA Girls state golf tournament, Wednesday, June 12
Team scores: Red Wing 646, Minnewaska/BBE 647, Detroit Lakes 662, Jordan 698, International Falls 735, Visitation 751, Albany 773, Providence Academy 797.
Individual state champion: Sophia Yoemans, Red Wing 69-69 138
3 Anna Cihak 75-77 152
8 Shelby Busker 78-80 158
T20 McKenna Mallow 77-91 168
50 McKenna Burhans 98-89 187
T65 Hanna Knoop 102-93 195
69 Evan Westrum 95-101 196