State golf: School record score secures second for Alexandria girls
With Wayzata holding a 19 shot lead after round one, Alexandria shifted its focus to catching Edina. The Cardinals not only did that, but they turned a six-shot deficit to the Hornets into a nine-shot victory over them to earn second place for the second straight season.
Alexandria shot its third school record of the year on Wednesday by carding a 311. The Cardinals finished with a two-day score of 641 after shooting 330 on Tuesday. Wayzata won the title with a score of 622. The score of 311 is a Class AAA state tournament record at Bunker Hills that Wayzata and Alexandria now share.
“It’s exciting,” junior Natalie Amundson said after shooting a 78 on day two. “We did what we wanted to do. We just wanted to improve a lot and try to beat Edina and see how close we could get to Wayzata. We all improved a little bit and it was just really fun to be out there playing with the best.”
Seniors Amanda Bigger and Emily Thul were on their games during the final rounds of their high school careers. Bigger shot a one-under 71 on Wednesday and finished third overall in the individual standings with a two-day score of 148.
“It’s a great honor,” Bigger said. “There are so many great names up there. My goal was to get in the top eight. I never really expected third but it’s obviously awesome to get third.”
Thul was not far behind her teammate. She finished off her career by shooting a 73 to finish 13th overall with a two-day score of 157. It was a bit of redemption for Thul after she was left disappointed during the second round last year after shooting an 89.
“It was just kind of like this senioritis thing,” Thul said. “Just realizing it was my last meet ever. It was like I just had to come back and play better today, enjoy it. It was so special. It was just a lot of fun and it felt really nice to have a good score on my second day, go home happy. I think it was maybe more fun getting revenge on Edina.”
It was the Hornets who beat Alexandria for the state title a year ago. That served as a little motivation with the teams so evenly matched again this year after day one.
Alexandria knew it could shoot better collectively after its day one score left the team in a distant third from Wayzata. The Cardinals would have liked to compete for a title, but they didn’t dwell on that heading into Wednesday. Instead, they used those three rounds in the 70s and an 89 from Bridget Amundson to post a school-record score in the biggest round of the season. Allison Schwartz shot a two-day score of 195 and Lauren Stockmoe shot a 198 to round out the Alexandria lineup.
“It’s great to come down here and compete with the metro teams,” Amundson said. “We have Scott Dirck’s facility, and that’s great. It’s been a long road here. We’ve all been taking lessons since we were younger so it’s a lot of hard work, but it pays off.”
The Cardinals focused on their own games on day two but knew that if they beat the Edina player in their group that would bode well in the team standings.
“Like Amanda said before, all we needed to do was beat your Edina girl,” Thul said. “That was the goal. After the first nine I had noticed that my girl was starting to slip and wasn’t playing as well as I knew she could, so I was like, ‘Ok, I think I can do this. Let’s pull away stroke by stroke.’ ”
With their finish Wednesday, the Cardinals can lay claim to being one of the best programs in the state during the last couple years. This group will also go down as likely the best Alexandria team the program has ever had after another school record score and runner-up finish to show for their effort.
“It’s definitely taken a lot of players,” Bigger said. “It’s not just the same six girls every year. Different girls come in and we take different scores. Hopefully it can continue to stay that way and we can continue to get players who can shoot low numbers.”
CLASS AAA GIRLS’ GOLF TOURNAMENT
TEAM SCORES – 1. Wayzata – 622; 2. Alexandria – 641; 3. Edina – 650; 4. Lakeville North – 681; 5. Andover – 686; 6. Rosemount – 696; 7. Cretin-Derham Hall – 705; 8. Mounds View – 734
ALEXANDRIA – Bigger – third place, 77, 71 – 148; Thul – 13th place, 84, 73 – 157; N. Amundson – T-16th, 82, 78 – 160; B. Amundson – T-49th, 87, 89 – 176; Schwartz – T-76th, 94, 101 – 195; Stockmoe – T-80th, 95, 103 – 198