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Detroit Lakes claims third straight Minnesota Class 2A state girls golf title

Members of the Detroit Lakes girls golf team jump into a pond following their Minnesota Class 2A state championship on Wednesday. Brian Bashman / Forum News Service

JORDAN, Minn. – The fairy tale in which was the Detroit Lakes girls golf season, came to a conclusion Wednesday with the Lakers clinching their third straight Minnesota Class 2A state championship at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.

Four seniors played their last round as Lakers and they made it count, as DL shot a second-day score of 297, which went with their one-day state meet record 293 Tuesday for an all-time low two-day state meet score of 590.

It was 20 strokes better than Minnewaska’s 610, which was set in 2009.

“No one could have written a better script than this,” said DL head coach Cali Harrier, speaking of the three-year run the team put on. “This team didn’t leave any business unfinished. Nothing is left on the table for them to accomplish.”

But one run is not finished, as sophomore Kate Smith won her third straight Class 2A state medalist honor, tying with Pequot Lakes junior Maggie Heggerston with a 1-under-par 143.

Both players shot identical two-day scores of 73 and 70, as Smith rallied early with a 34 on the front nine, while Heggerston waited until the back nine and stroked back-to-back birdies on holes Nos. 16 and 17 to finish 2-under par.

“I really felt (like) I had to break 70 today because there were some very good players and scores out there,” Smith said. “So I just went out and tried to make as many birdies as I could. I had to use my will and putt better.”

Smith, who co-medaled last year with teammate Natalie Roth, also had a strong finish after she went on a birdie fest on holes No. 5 through 7, then finished her last three holes as birdie-par-birdie.

Heggerston, who finished fifth overall in last year’s state meet, didn’t realize how close she was heading up the 18th fairway, even after making her two birdies on 16 and 17.

“I had no idea where I was at in the standings,” Heggerston said. “After I finished 18, I had a feeling I had lost. I finished 1-over par on the front nine, and all I wanted to do was stay even on the back nine, because that back nine can make or break you.”

But for Smith, the high expectations thrust on her after she became the youngest ever state champion as an eighth-grader two years ago, built up some high pressure.

“It is a relief, I put pressure on myself to win,” Smith said. “It’s great to get it over with.”

The podium was filled with Lakers, as four made all-state honors by finishing in the top seven.

Senior Trisa Hutchinson finished as an all-stater for the third consecutive year and her highest place of third, after she shot a 73-74 for a final mark of 147.

“I came out strong, but towards the end I gave away a couple of shots,” Hutchinson said. “But I know I’ve come a long way the last five years.”

Last year’s co-medalist Roth had a strong back-nine score of 35 to finish fifth overall with a mark of 150, after shooting a 75 Tuesday.

“Going in the back nine, I knew I had to do well if I was to place,” Roth said. “There are some good opportunities there to score on and I thought I did well by making three birdies.

“Obviously, I was taking one shot at a time like I always do. I went into this round with a little different mindset. I didn’t want to count myself out, but I just wanted to have fun, since this was my last time being a Laker.”

The first-day leader, junior Sydney Busker, also placed sixth overall, after she followed up her even-par 72 from Tuesday with an 80 in the final round for a 154.

Seniors Matty Tschider and Emma Thompson also capped fabulous prep careers as main contributors to the team. Tschider stroked a 155 and Thompson a 163, for ninth and 20th place, respectively.

The dynasty which was built over the course of the last three years, will leave with a trio of state team championships, four state individual titles, as well as the holding of a bevy of records, including the all-time state record of 284, the one-day state meet record of 293 and the two-day state meet mark of 590.

They now hold the top three low scores in the state meet with a pair of 297s and a 293.

Add in a 39-meet winning streak, there isn’t much this Lakers six didn’t accomplish.

Second round

Team scores: Detroit Lakes 590, Pequot Lakes 648. Red Wing 650, Minnewaska Area 687, Osakis 717, Visitation 733, Jordan 738, Breck School 748.

Top 10 scores: 1(tie), Heggerston, PL; Smith, DL 143. 3, Hutchinson, DL 147. 4, Heck, V, 149. 5, Roth, DL, 150. 6, Busker, DL 152. 7(tie), Thong, Jordan; Sorenson, Rocori 154. 9 (tie), Israelson, Staples-Motley; Tschider, DL; Herzog, RW, 155.

Other area finishers

Detroit Lakes: 20, Thompson 163.

Perham: 21, Huus 165

Pelican Rapids: T25, Bekkerus 168.