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Osakis battles nerves

Osakis’ Peyton Garcia putts during the Class AA state golf tournament on Tuesday at the Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan. Garcia shot a score of 190 in two days of competition to finish tied for 59th. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

The Osakis girls’ golf team came into its first ever Class AA state tournament with some nerves at play and it resulted in some higher scores than the Silverstreaks are used to at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.

The Silverstreaks finished fifth overall out of the eight teams after shooting a two-day score of 717. Detroit Lakes ran away with the team title by shooting a 590, while Pequot Lakes was second at 648. Red Wing was third at 650 and Minnewaska finished fourth with a score of 687.

Osakis shot a team score of 366 on day one but finished things off better on Wednesday with a 351. It was a new course for almost all of the Silverstreaks’ players, and the nerves of playing in their first state tournament set in for some.

“This was only the second time I’ve ever played this course and that made it a lot tougher,” Osakis senior Peyton Garcia said after day one. “I think I was just struggling and the nerves were getting to me, so none of that really helped.”

Fellow senior Annalise Savageau said those nerves of playing in their first state tournament got to her too and contributed to some higher than normal scores for these athletes. Savageau finished tied for 39th after shooting a two-day score of 176.

“It is a difficult course but a lot of it has to do with nerves,” Savageau said after her first round. “Golf is more of a mental game, so if you’re nervous, anything can happen.”

Eighth grader Alayna Eldred led the way for Osakis. She shot 81, 77 to finish tied for 12th individually with her 158.

Even though she is the youngest player on the team, Eldred came into the state meet with the most experience on this golf course. She competed in the individual state tournament a year ago and that experience helped her after a bit of a slow start.

Eldred shot a 42 on the back nine after starting her round on hole 10 on Tuesday. She finished things off with a 39 after a run of six straight pars on the front to cap off a good first round.

“I didn’t play my best on the first nine and I know I could have improved a lot,” Eldred said. “My putting was a little off today but my second nine I was definitely feeling a lot better about my swing and my game.”

Eldred said she learned a lot about this course and what a player can and can’t do by playing it a year ago. Her best nine came on the front on day two as she carded a 37 and added a 40 on the back nine.

“I try to play somewhat conservative at this course because if you try to go for something, this course will eat you up,” Eldred said. “I learned that last year, so this year I tried to just get it on the green and go from there. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

The Silverstreaks came into the tournament with a goal of shooting in the top four of the team standings. The Silverstreaks knew they would have to play really well to beat Minnewaska, and the Lakers were too much to overcome for that fourth spot.

Jenna Janu led the Lakers with a 16th place finish after shooting a 77 on day one and finishing with a 160 after an 83 on Wednesday. Ashlyn Guggisberg was the next lowest scorer for the Lakers with a 167, good for a tie for 22nd place.

It wasn’t necessarily the scores that Osakis was looking for, but the chance to compete in a state tournament was a thrill for these athletes. The Silverstreaks had a season where they ran away with the Central Minnesota Conference and won their first-ever Class AA section title.

“It was really exciting being it’s the last sport I’ll play in high school,” Savageau said. “It was a good way to make it to the state tournament to finish it off.”


TEAM SCORES – 1. Detroit Lakes, 590; 2. Pequot Lakes, 648; 3. Red Wing, 650; 4. Minnewaska Area, 687; 5. Osakis, 717; 6. Visitation, Mendota Heights, 733; 7. Jordan, 738; 8. Breck School, Golden Valley, 748

OSAKIS – Alayna Eldred – T12th place, 81, 77 – 158; Annalise Savageau – T39th place, 93, 83 – 176; Peyton Garcia – T59th place, 95, 95 – 190; T66 – Emily Backes, – T66th place, 99, 96 – 195; Ariel Chalmers – 71st place, 97, 102 – 199; Katelyn Foster – 79th place, 105, 104 - 209

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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