Mady Maninga earned medalist honors in leading the Park Rapids girls golf team to first place while United North Central captured the boys title during the United North Central Invitational at Blueberry Pines in the season opener on Friday, April 23.
Maninga carded a 90 and Anna Eckmann followed with a 92 as the Panthers carded a 403 to top the nine-team field. Lexi Usher’s 109 and Emily Schulz’s 112 completed Park Rapids’ team score. Emma Vrieze added a 131 and Louisa Etter carded a 148.
Alayna Day carded a 93 for third place as UNC’s only golfer. Sarah Boettcher (106) and Sofia Anderson (132) competed for Nevis.
Park Rapids was the only team that had a full squad.
“It was a tough meet. Cold and wet are not ideal conditions for your first competition,” said Park Rapids head coach Brent Vandal. “Given the circumstances, I am happy with how the girls played. But I believe you will see lower scores going forward.”
Andreas Aho’s 79 and Nick Wurdock’s 80 led UNC to a 336 to top the boys field. Carter Hillukka’s 82 and Ryan Tolkkinen’s 95 rounded out the Warriors’ team score with Joey Hillukka (96) and Josh Hillukka (106) also competing for UNC.
“I am very pleased with the results. My golfers stay way past the end of practice many nights. We have golfed when it's 38 degrees and raining, so the weather barely affected us,” said UNC head coach Tim Wurdock. “The feeling from the team is that the results were nice, but there is room for improvement.”
Park Rapids finished fourth with a 372 behind Nolan Eckmann’s 80, Alec Nordin’s 91, Isaiah Phillippi’s 99 and Hunter Harrison’s 102. Kenton Klein added a 103 and Jack Moses carded a 123.
“Basically five of them had one good 9 and one horrible 9,” said Park Rapids head coach Jeff Anderson. “(There is) lots of room for improvement, (especially) about course management.”
Nevis placed fifth as Ty Warrington’s 88, Lealan Norby’s 89, Ethan Lewis’ 98 and Eddie Kramer’s 102 led to a 377. Blaine Leckie carded a 108 and Hunter Wright had a 145.
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley’s Parker Brock earned medalist honors with a 77 with teammate Mason Schneider carding a 79 for a runner-up 364. Cass Lake-Bena took third with a 369.