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Cardinals survive midseason test

Natalie Amundson watches the flight of an iron shot during the Alexandria girls’ golf team’s home invitational on Saturday at the Geneva Golf Club. Amundson tied for eighth place overall in the meet with teammate Emily Thul. The Cardinals finished first place as a team with a score of 344. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

The Alexandria girls’ golf team proved it has one of the stronger teams in the state again this season after facing some tough competition last weekend.

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The Cardinals played back-to-back meets on Friday at the Minnewaska Golf Club in Glenwood and Saturday in a home invitational at the Geneva Golf Club. Both competitions included several teams that made some noise at the state tournament last year.

Besides Alexandria, which finished second among Class AAA teams, the 2013 Class AA champion Detroit Lakes and Class AA runner-up Minnewaska were also present in Glenwood. The Cardinals finished second behind Detroit Lakes with Minnewaska taking third. Detroit Lakes scored 332 as a team to finish on top, followed by Alexandria in second with 351, Minnewaska in third with 359 and Osakis in fourth with 366.

On Saturday, the Cardinals again faced off against the Lakers at Geneva. Alexandria finished with a team score of 344, four strokes better than Minnewaska’s 348. Elk River finished in third at 353, Rocori fourth at 364 and St. Cloud Tech rounded out the top five at 375.

Despite these strong results, the Cardinals still feel they have the potential to shoot lower scores as a team. Strong winds and cold conditions did not do the golfers any favors on either Friday or Saturday.

“I think both days there were a couple of us who didn’t play their best, and we definitely could have gotten down there,” Amanda Bigger said. “Wind has a lot to do with it, weather has a lot of it, and I think we can get down there where we should be.”

Alexandria also scored well enough to fend off a strong Minnewaska team on both days. This was a satisfactory result as Minnewaska has been a perennial golf powerhouse.

“I thought it went pretty well. Minnewaska’s always a good team,” senior Emily Thul said about both meets. “They played really well, but so did we. We ended up beating them both times, yesterday and today.”

On Saturday at Geneva, Bigger tied with Jenna Janu for first place with scores of 75. Tiebreaker criteria wound up placing Bigger alone in first place. Thul and Natalie Amundson tied for eighth overall with scores of 86, and Bridget Amundson rounded out the top four with a score of 97.

On Friday it was Natalie Amundson who led the Cardinals as she took third place overall with a score of 79. Thul finished fifth in the field with an 81, followed by Bigger in eighth with an 88. Allison Schwartz rounded out the Alexandria top four with a score of 97.

Head coach Tim Zupfer was happy to see different Cardinal golfers on top of the scorecard between the two competitions.

“The thing that I am most happy with is that every player played well one of the two days,” Zupfer said. “We had a number of our players that were not completely on top of their games one day or another.”

Despite golfing through unfavorable conditions, the Cardinals were happy to finish both meets as the weather has not cooperated with sports schedules this spring. Zupfer was appreciative of support from the Geneva Golf Club after allowing them to host their invitational and use Scott Dirck’s Golf Academy for practice this season.

“The coaches and players are grateful for all they do to support this program,” Zupfer said.



TEAMS – 1. Alexandria Black – 344; 2. Minnewaska – 348; 3. Elk River – 353; 4. Rocori – 364; 5. St. Cloud Tech – 375; 6. St. Cloud Cathedral – 388; 7. Rogers – 416; 8. Alexandria Red – 432; 9. St. Cloud Apollo – 471

ALEXANDRIA INDIVIDUALS – 1. Amanda Bigger – 34, 41 – 75; 8. Emily Thul – 44, 42 – 86; 8. Natalie Amundson – 42, 44 – 86; 22. Bridget Amundson – 44, 53 – 97; 24. Allison Schwartz – 58, 51 – 99; 24. Kalley Bistodeau – 50, 49 – 99; 27. Elise Stockmoe – 51, 50 – 101; 34. Macyn Hagen – 48, 59 – 107; 36. Lauren Stockmoe – 54, 54 – 108; 43. Alexis Kokett – 58, 58 – 116


TEAMS – 1. Detroit Lakes, 332; 2. Alexandria, 351; 3. Minnewaska, 359; 4. Osakis, 366; 5. Marshall, 373; 6. St. Cloud Tech, 390; 7. Rogers, 407; 8. Ortonville, 427; 9. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, 447; 10. St. Michael-Albertville, 450; 11. West Central Area, 503

ALEXANDRIA INDIVIDUALS – Natalie Amundson – 41, 38 – 79; Emily Thul – 40, 41 – 81; Amanda Bigger – 45, 43 – 88; Allison Schwartz – 48, 49 – 97; Kalley Bistodeau – 50, 53 – 103; Elise Stockmoe, 54, 59 – 113

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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