Blackjacks look to make a run behind 3 returning state qualifiers

Dawson-Boyd golf preview 2024

Photos by Cory Larson Above: The 2024 Dawson-Boyd girls golf team includes (left to right): Claire Stratmoen, Alyssa Swedzinski, Reese Ochsendorf, Lindsey Lund, Kyler Hjelmeland, Laura Schreier. Below: The 2024 Dawson-Boyd boys golf team includes (left to right) Evan Mork, Evan Menning, Jamie Garcia, Drew Hjelmeland, Carson Stratmoen, Landon Kemen.

DAWSON — Three returning state qualifiers and another pair of golfers who fell just shy of individual honors gives those watching the Dawson-Boyd golf team a lot to look forward to this season.

Last time around, the Dawson-Boyd girls and boys golf teams each fell just shy of a team trip to the state tournament. On the boys side, the Blackjacks finished the section tournament with a team score of 707, sitting just four strokes back of the section champion Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Jaguars. BBE went on to place sixth in the state tournament.

On the girls side, Dawson-Boyd placed third in the section meet behind Lac qui Parle Valley and B.O.L.D. The LQPV Eagles went on to wedge out Fillmore Central for the Class A State title by just one stroke. The Eagles are also returning all but one of their top 6 golfers from last year.

The Dawson-Boyd girls were a notably young team last year. Lindsey Lund and Alyssa Swedzinski, who each qualified for the state tournament, were just a sophomore and freshman respectively last year. Their No. 3 and No. 4 golfers, Kylar Hjelmeland and Claire Stratmoen, were both in seventh grade.

Still, despite their youth, the team still excelled. Lund and Swedzinski placed fourth and sixth respectively in last year’s section tournament to qualify for state.

When the stage got bigger, the duo only played stronger; Lund placed eight in the state tournament with a score of 170 while Swedzinski carded a 178 to place 13th.

The Blackjacks’ girls team wasn’t the only one to earn a state qualification. On the boys side, eighth grader Carson Stratmoen carded a 160 at the section tournament to finish fourth at the meet and earn a state qualification.

At the Class A meet, Stratmoen shot an 83 on Day 1 and an 86 on Day 2 to place 47th out of 86 players at the meet.

Still, what makes the Blackjacks a threat to come out of 5A this year is their depth. Drew Hjelmeland shot a 167 in last year’s section tournament to place seventh, falling one spot shy of a state tournament berth. Evan Mork also shot a 175 to place 10th in the section meet.

Like the girls team, the Blackjacks boys’ window extends beyond this year. Hjelmeland is just a junior and Mork is a sophomore. In supporting roles, Landon Kemen is a sophomore and Jamie Garcia is a junior. The Blackjacks have a strong chance of winning the Section 5A tournament this year, but they’ll continue to compete for a while.

The Blackjack girls and boys have both started this season strong. The girls won each of their first three meets of the year while the boys won their season opener — the Lakeview Invitational — and finished as the runner-up to Central Minnesota Christian at the Ortonville Invite and third behind Class AA Marshall’s two teams at the Marshall Invite.

The Blackjacks will return to action on Thursday when they head to Madison Country Club for a 4:30 p.m. Invitational.


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