Bartels three-peats, Oak Grove takes team title at Class B state tournament
It all came down to Tuesday afternoon at Souris Valley Golf Course, as the Class B girls golfers played their last round of the 2022 season with the state tournament going final after the day.
Displaying similar weather patterns to Monday, but with a little extra wind sprinkled in, it was another beautiful day on the golf course as the athletes were locked in and ready to give it their all for one final time.
Heading into the action, Oak Grove had a slight lead on the team side, entering play with a 353 to edge out second-place Heart River who finished Monday with a score of 355. Additionally, there were a variety of teams within single-digit strokes of Oak Grove, paving the way for an exciting finish.
Individual golfers were headlined by Avery Bartels of Kindred (69), Lauryn Keller of Des Lacs-Burlington (75), Ainsley McLain of Grafton (76), and Libby Dulmage of Rugby (79). They made up the top four finishes on Monday, and the four of them were grouped together for the final round on Tuesday.
Coaches, fans, and spectators made their way around Souris Valley Golf Course, cheering for and supporting the athletes that worked so hard and were able to compete at the highest level in their sport, with Tuesday highlighting all the accomplishments and soon to be more that the athletes earned this year.
After maintaining the overall team lead heading into Tuesday, Oak Grove would take care of business and secure the team title as they led the way with a team score of 713. Putting forth a strong effort to close the gap was Heart River, who came in a close second with an overall score of 714.
Behind those two were Napoleon (716), Kindred (721), Des Lacs-Burlington (742), Grafton (771), Linton/HMB (775), Carrington (784), Rugby (793), Park River (+223), Bottineau (815), Nedrose (825), Sargent County (838), Hatton-Northwood (838), Hazen (845), Kenmare (882), Stanley (890), and Bowman County (893).
For the most part, the top of the team leaderboard remained intact similarly to where it was at the end of Monday. Napoleon, however, finished strongly and made the jump from No. 5 to No. 3 and falling just three-strokes shy of first place.
Despite an incredible effort and a late push on the final day by Ainsley McLain of Grafton, Avery Bartels could not be denied, finishing the day with a 73 and a total of 142 in the tournament to lead the way as the medalist.
With the win on Tuesday, that makes for a three-peat for Bartels at the state tournament, as she is putting together a prep career that people can only dream about, and she still has an opportunity to win one more next year.
Following Bartels for the top 25 finishes were 2, Ainsley McLain (Grafton, 148); 3, Lauryn Keller (Des Lacs-Burlington, 159); 4, Elle Nicholas (North Star, 160); 5, Kacie Rexin (Carrington, 160); 6, Emma Ketterling (Napoleon, 160); 7, Libby Dulmage (Rugby, 163); 8, Trista Bilden (Hatton-Northwood, 165); 9, Sophie Ketterling (Napoleon, 166); 10, Sophie Brantner (Oak Grove, 169); 11, Mackenzee Schneider (Heart River, 170); 12, Paige Hulm (Linton/HMB, 173); 13, Megan Robb (Heart River, 174); 14, Laila Christianson (Des Lacs-Burlington, 175); 15, Molly Robb (Heart River, 176); 16, Hudsyn Hubrig (Hankinson-Lidgerwood, 176); 17, Charli McQuillan (Kindred, 176); 18, Josie Brantner (Oak Grove, 176); 19, Sylvie Brantner (Oak Grove, 180); 20, Sadie Neustel (Sargent County, 182); 21, Jada Schwartzenberger (Napoleon, 186); 22, Meadow Roberts (Nedrose, 186); 23, Lauren Holstad (Oak Grove, 188); 24, Kallie Grefsrud (Tri-State FCTR, 189); and 25, Sophia Hulm (Linton/HMB, 189).
With the conclusion of the state tournament, there were two additional awards given out to an athlete and a coach. The 2022 NDHSCA Senior Athlete of the Year was awarded to Ainsley McLain of Grafton. The 2022 NDHSCA Coach of the Year was given to Laine Brantner of Fargo Oak Grove.
The weather was perfect and despite the fast greens, the golfers put on a show throughout the Class B state tournament. Congratulations to all of the winners and all of the golfers who made it there. The two-day event came and went, but the memories and achievements will be remembered for a long time.