Middleton golfers storm to second at state

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton’s boys golf team finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament. From left are Tim O’Malley, Tommy Kriewaldt, Jacob Beckman, Carson Frisch, Kip Sullivan, Alec Sosnowski and head coach Tom Cabalka./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

MADISON — Tommy Kriewaldt stood on the putting green at University Ridge with two young children by his side. Kriewaldt held the state runner-up trophy high, smiled from ear-to-ear and posed for pictures.

Carson Frisch took the trophy, was immediately surrounded by four female classmates, and produced one of the largest smiles of his young life.

Each member of Middleton’s sensational boys golf team followed suit, hoisting the trophy for a photo they’ll never forget. 

The American rock back Styx once produced the hit song, ‘The Best of Times.’ Tuesday evening was undoubtedly the best of the times for the Cardinals.

One year after a disappointing sixth place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, Middleton notched a second-place finish. That meant the Cardinals received a large runner-up trophy and a fire truck escort through Middleton.

Mighty Milwaukee Marquette won its third state title in four years after setting a new state record with a two-day total of 594. Middleton was second at 614, while Lake Geneva Badger (623), Kaukauna (624) and Wauwatosa East/West (627) rounded out the top five.

“Marquette’s a pretty tough team to beat, so to get second and beat everybody else is almost as good as we could have hoped for,” said Cardinals’ junior Kip Sullivan, who was Middleton’s low-man with a two-day score of 151. “It was really awesome. I’m so proud of our guys. We showed up this week and did what we needed to do.”

Middleton coach Tom Cabalka agreed.

“Every time something like this happens and a crew like this comes along, it’s pretty special,” Cabalka said. “I speak of all those other kids we’ve had, but I also speak so very highly of these kids. They worked hard all season long. Their goal was to get here and their goal was to play well and we played well.”

They sure did.

Sullivan finished 12th individually, while sophomore Jacob Beckman tied for 16th with a 152. Kriewaldt fired a 156 and tied for 26th overall, while Middleton also counted an opening round 75 from Frisch and a second-day 80 from sophomore Tim O’Malley.

“This year, our goal was to be top-two, so it’s amazing that we met that,” Kriewaldt said. “We wanted to win, but it’s hard to win when you have Marquette in front of you.

“It’s just a great moment. State is just so fun, especially in this final group. So, I just wanted to enjoy the moment.”

Middleton got off to a terrific start during Monday’s opening round, shooting a 303-team score and surging into second place. Marquette led the field with a 296, while Badger (306), Wauwatosa East/West (310) and both Menomonee Falls and Kaukauna (315 each) rounded out the top five.

“Coach said be aggressive to a conservative target and never give up on a shot,” Sullivan said. “And I went out there with the attitude that I’m going to have fun. If I’m having fun I know I’m going to play better.”

The Cardinals had a lot of fun.

Beckman had a terrific day with a 1-over-par, 73. Beckman carded four birdies, three bogeys and one double bogey. Beckman played the par-4s at 3-under-par, but was 4-over-par on the par-3s.

Both Sullivan and Frisch fired 75s and Kriewaldt added an 80.

Sullivan made 15 pars in his round — more than any other player in the field — and three bogeys during a remarkably consistent trek.

Frisch had a solid day, playing his first nine (the back) in 2-over-par, 38, then shooting a 37 on the front. Frisch finished the day with two birdies, five bogeys and 11 pars.

Kriewaldt was a tad more up and down, as he went 39-41 for an 80. Afterwards, Middleton was in prime position for a top-two finish.

“I think 303 is probably one of our better scores this year,” Kreiwaldt said. “I think it really set the tone, then we all played really solid (Tuesday). I think it just showed who we were.”

Any visions Middleton had of catching Marquette vanished early as the Hilltoppers refused to blink and only got stronger as the day progressed. Instead, the Cardinals focused on holding off the gaggle of teams chasing them for second.

“It wasn’t that we made a lot of mistakes (Tuesday),” Cabalka said. “We just didn’t give ourselves many opportunities to catch a team like Marquette. And you know they’re just not going to hurt themselves. But overall, we just had two good, solid days.”

Sullivan birdied two of his first four holes Tuesday on his way to a 76. Kriewaldt shot an even-par, 36, on the back nine and matched Sullivan for Middleton’s low-score on day two.

Beckman carded a 79, and O’Malley — who played from the No. 5 spot in the lineup all year — came up big with an 80.

“It means everything for me,” O’Malley said of having his score count on the final round of the year. “I give credit to my coaches and my team for firing me up. I think we have a chemistry that’s really unmatched. We’re just so close, we all motivate each other to play better and I’m really glad I got to pitch in today.”

As thrilling as state proved to be this year, the 2020 campaign could be even better for these Cardinals. Middleton will return all five of its golfers next year, while three of Marquette’s top five graduate. 

The best of times? They could certainly continue for these Cardinals.

“Next year? I have a good feeling about next year,” Sullivan said. “I’m not going to say anything profound, but I think the target on us has definitely shifted from us being the underdogs to being the frontrunners, which is awesome. That’s exactly what we wanted.”

And what they achieved — thanks to a memorable performance at state.

 

WIAA Division 1 state tournament

Team scores: 1. Marquette 296-298 — 594; 2. Middleton 303-311 — 614; 3. Lake Geneva Badger 306-317 — 623; 4. Kaukauna 315-309 — 624; 5. Wauwatosa 310-316 — 626; 6. Menomonee Falls 315-312 — 627; 7. Hudson 317-316 — 633; 8. Kettle Moraine 328-306 — 634; 9. Holmen 322-316 — 638; 10. Homestead 326-319 — 645; 11. Mukwonago 324-322 — 646; 12. Arrowhead 321-327 — 648; 13. Eau Claire Memorial 333-325 — 658; 14. Bay Port 324-343 — 667; 15. Fond du Lac 334-334 — 668; 16. Franklin 335-336 — 671.

Middleton scores: Kip Sullivan 75-76 — 151; Jacob Beckman 73-79 — 152; Tommy Kriewaldt 80-76 — 156; Carson Frisch 75-83 — 158; Tim O’Malley 80-83 — 163.

 

 

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