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Mounds View girls golf ready for state environment
For years, Paul Bailey begged for the Section 5AAA girls golf tournament to expand to a two-day format. Bailey, the Mounds View High School girls golf coach, finally got his wish this season, but after day one of the tournament he hoped it wouldn’t come back to haunt his team.
The Mustangs led the event by two strokes after the first day and in past years would have been going to the state tournament. But with the format change, they needed to go out on day two and hold onto that lead.
Mounds View did indeed maintain a lead throughout day two and claimed the section team title by seven shots over runner-up Spring Lake Park. The victory sends the Mustangs to this week’s Class AAA state tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.
Bailey noticed a different demeanor from the players on day two of the section event.
“There was a lot more pressure on the second day,” Bailey said. “They were pretty quiet after being rather chatty on the first day.”
Mounds View led Spring Lake Park by two shots and Blaine by seven after day one and extended that lead over the first half of day two.
“We won it on the front nine,” Bailey said. “Spring Lake Park played well.”
Sophomore Kristen Cash led Mounds View with a two-day score of 163, which put her in third place in the individual standings. She led all golfers with a first-day 79 and finished six shots behind section champion Ally Rogers of Spring Lake Park. Blaine’s Caroline Andrews finished second with a 162.
“She certainly has showed the ability to go low quite a lot,” Bailey said of Cash.
Senior Kylie Monson was next for the Mustangs with a 175 and two shots behind her was senior Felicia Kienitz. Senior Ellie Sachse shot a 182, junior Kendall Monson wound up with a 201 and sophomore Lauren Ganske shot 202.
Kienitz is Mounds View’s lone golfer with state-tournament experience. She was a freshman for the Mustangs team that made state in 2011.
Joining Mounds View in the state-tournament field are Lakeville North, Edina, Rosemount, Cretin-Derham Hall, Wayzata, Andover and Alexandria. Bailey expects Edina and Wayzata to be tough to beat but the rest of the field could be evenly matched.
“Edina and Wayzata have been shooting some awfully fantastic numbers,” Bailey said.
In last week’s state rankings compiled by the state coaches association, Alexandria was ranked first, Wayzata was third and Edina fourth. Andover was sixth, Rosemount sat in eighth and Cretin-Derham Hall was ninth. Mounds View and Lakeville North were not in the top 10.
The rankings compare each team’s four best scores over its last six events.
The girls play the early rounds in this year’s state tournaments. Ganske is the first Mustang out on Tuesday. She tees off with the first group on the West course at 7:30 p.m.
Cash will be the last Mustang to go and she’ll go out with the 8:15 a.m. group.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.