Girls golf: Patriots take third in state
Freshman Genevieve Birkeland finished fourth overall
JORDAN — Lightning delays pushed back the start of the Class 2A Final round at Ridges at Sand Creek, and teams only got to play 27 holes instead of 36, but the Pequot Lakes girls team managed to finish third overall as a team.
“When we arrived, it was about 95 degrees with 30 mph winds,” head coach Savannah Smith said. “We knew it was going to be tough out there, and we just talked about rising above and fighting until the last putt goes in. I think they did really well with that – kind of being in the moment and taking things one step at a time.”
The Patriots placed third with a 535, five shots behind second-place Fergus Falls.
“Coming into the state tournament, we were ranked third in Class 2A,” Smith said. “I was hoping we could play to our ranking, and we definitely did.”
Additionally, Patriot freshman Genevieve Birkeland freshman shot a two-day 120 to place fourth individually.
Birkeland bogeyed five of her first six holes, but she stole a shot back with a birdie on the 424-yard par 5 16th hole. She then made back-to-back pars to close out the round.
Birkeland’s 120 was a shot out of third place and six shots off the state winner Mallory Belka of Perham.
“I was very, very impressed with her performance,” Smith said. “She was nice and natural at state. She had a smile on her face, and she didn’t get too high or too low. I couldn’t be happier.”
Junior Morgan Krieger nabbed her second top 10 finish at state, shooting a 122 and tying for ninth.
Krieger opened with a birdie on the 10th hole. She gave the shot back with a bogey on the 11th. She bogeyed the 13th hole and carded a double on 16 but posted pars on the five other holes for her 3-over round.
The Patriots have no seniors on the team, and return everyone next season.
“The girls are already talking about playing together all summer,” Smith said. “I really saw them become a lot closer this year … They just really enjoy competing and growing together. I think next year is going to be really fun. Hopefully we can get back to the state tournament and really put on a good show.”
Team scores:1-Lake City 330-161 -- 491, 2-Fergus Falls 357-173 -- 530, 3-Pequot Lakes 362-173 -- 535, 4-Minnewaska 366-173 -- 539, 5-Providence Academy 362-186 -- 548, 6-St. Croix Lutheran Academy 382-182 -- 564, 7-Jordan 397-185 -- 582, 8-Mesabi East 401-203 -- 604
State champion: Mallory Belka (Perham) 76-38 -- 114
Pequot Lakes results: 4t-Genevieve Birkeland 80-40 -- 120, 9t-Morgan Krieger 83-39 -- 122, 56t-Annie Neva 99-45 -- 144, 62t-Charlee Sullivan 100-49 -- 149, 75-Kate Stephens 107-60 -- 167, 83-Bahati Gibbs 119-54 -- 173
Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or email@example.com . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan .