Grace Ehlers places 12th at 3AA meet
BUFFALO LAKE — Marshall senior Grace Ehlers led the way for the Tigers in day two of the 3AA girls golf tournament at Oakdale golf Club Wednesday afternoon, shooting a 95 to finish 12th in her final match with the team.
“It was a hard first couple of holes, so I was just telling myself no real expectations. Just try to keep it steady and try to do it for my team,” Ehlers said.
Ehlers shot an 87 in day one of the tournament. While she didn’t fare as well in her second round, her score put her just two strokes outside of the top 10 at 182.
“It’s very bittersweet,” Ehlers said. “We had a great group of members on the team this year and great coaching. It’ll be missed a lot, but I’m excited for the younger girls to have a better few years to go.”
“Heading into the tournament, I didn’t expect her to finish that close to the top. This has been a really good way for her to finish her senior year,” Marshall head coach Nancy Blanchard said. “So close to making it to the state tournament, but one of the Worthington girls made it and I think that will kind of spark the girls to go, ‘you know what? It is doable.’ It’s that that level of competition is doable for even the younger girls, they just have to work hard.”
Also playing her final match with the team, Eryn Kraft shot a 104 on the day to place 25th. Her two-day score of 197 put her in a tie with Fairmont’s Leslie Zarling.
During the first round of the tournament, the Marshall golf team put together a season-low score of 379 despite windy conditions.
“It’s just hard to keep that momentum going. We just didn’t have as great a day,” Blanchard said, adding that most of the team still avoided high-scoring holes.
Dayton Webskowski and Rylee Jacobson rounded out the Marshall scorers. Webskowski, a freshman, shot a 102 on the day to put together a cumulative score of 199 and tie with Luverne’s Lauren Hansen for 28th. Jacobson shot a 107 to place 24th with a total score of 209.
Also competing for the Tigers, Grace Rokeh shot a 215 to place 38th while Ali Pederson shot a 235 to place 44th.
Marshall was one of five teams to qualify for day two of the tournament. The Tigers finished with a team score of 787, putting them in fifth place. Redwood Valley won the meet with a team total of 679 while Minnewaska Area placed second at 709. Worthington and Fairmont rounded out the qualifying teams by tying for third at 726.
Redwood Valley’s Julian Brown and Mila Jenniges went 1-2 in the individual competition, shooting a 154 and 155 respectively.
While the Tigers will be graduating their two low-scorers from the section tournament, they’ll return the rest of the team for next season with the hopes of continuing their progress.
“One of the key factors is how much they’ll play over the summer if they can keep progressing,” Blanchard said. “They made a lot of strides in the last two months, but if they can do something relatively similar over the course of the summer and then come out ready to fire in the spring.
“It does take a while, it’s very difficult for spring sports… it’s different than volleyball or basketball where you can play all summer long and then you can play all fall and get ready. But here we have to take a break, so summer is key because that’s where you make your improvements: in the offseason.”