Middleton golfers headed back to state

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Kate Meier and Middleton's girls golf team won the DeForest Sectional on Tuesday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Becky Halverson insists she wasn’t worried.

But there’s no doubt, Middleton’s girls golf coach feels a lot better about her team today than she did last weekend.

The Cardinals won the WIAA Division 1 DeForest Sectional Tuesday with a 324-team score. That was 33 strokes better than runner-up Waunakee (357) and gave Middleton the second-best score in the state’s six sectionals.

Just four days earlier, Middleton won the Baraboo Regional, but struggled with a season-worst 340. After rebounding at sectionals, the Cardinals now head to the state tournament Oct. 14-15 at University Ridge as one of the two favorites along with Brookfield Central.

“I wasn’t totally worried. I was pretty confident in the girls, actually really confident in them,” Halverson said Tuesday night. “I knew they weren’t going to shoot another 340. That’s not the norm for us. I think we got back to playing like we can (at sectionals).”

By winning sectionals for a fourth straight year, Middleton earned its ninth straight trip to state. The Cardinals have also reached the state tournament 20 times since 1997, winning titles in 2009 under Jeff Kenas and in 2015 under Halverson.

The Cardinals, who were second at state a year ago and brought back four of those five players, have talked all season about winning a state title in 2019. Now, that chance is here.

“I think they’re fully capable of it,” Halverson said of winning state. “They know what it’s like to finish second, and the underclassmen really want to get it for the seniors.”

Middleton bounced back with a solid day at The Oaks, which featured lightning fast greens.

Steady senior Kate Meier, who verbally committed to play at Loyola of Chicago last month, led Middleton with a 79. Meier made four birdies, mostly avoided trouble and finished in a tie for third place.

“Kate’s just really steady,” Halverson said. “There’s a couple holes she struggled on, but four birdies is a real plus for her confidence.”

Glenna Sanderson, who missed time recently with pain in both feet, also shot a 79 and tied for third. After a mediocre 42 on the front nine, Sanderson got rolling on the back nine where she carded a 37.

“She said she was struggling getting through the ball, but her score definitely didn’t show it,” Halverson said of Sanderson. “The bottoms of her feet have been extremely painful, but she played extremely well.”

Sophomore Ellie Frisch tied for sixth with an 83 that included a 38 on the back nine. And sophomore Milanne Dahmen continued her stellar play with an 83 that was good for a sixth-place tie.

“Milanne is just so steady and has really came on,” Halverson said. “She hits the ball straight and doesn’t get into much trouble.”

Middleton had more trouble than it’s used to at the Baraboo Regional last Friday held at Baraboo Country Club.

The Cardinals shot a 340 to easily outdistance runner-up Waunakee (360). Sun Prairie (374) and Reedsburg (379) also advanced to sectionals.

It marked the fifth straight year Middleton finished first at regionals, but the Cardinals had unusually high scores.

Meier shot an 82 and finished second individually, while Dahmen carded an 83 and tied for third. Frisch shot an 84 and was fifth, while Amanda Beckman and Makenzie Hodson both shot 91, which tied for 12th.

“It certainly wasn’t one of our better days,” Halverson said of regionals.

The Cardinals bounced back, though, at sectionals. And now, most expect the state tournament to be a two-team race between Middleton and Brookfield Central, with Kettle Moraine as a possible darkhorse.

The Cardinals and Lancers have become friendly rivals in recent years. And if things go as most expect, the two powers could be battling for a state title late Tuesday afternoon.

“The girls love playing with each other,” Halverson said. “Our girls were just saying that we haven't played with (Central) in a while and we really miss them.

“But we’ll see what happens now. Hopefully we’re in a position to be chasing a title next week.”

 

Oct. 8

WIAA Division 1 DeForest Sectional

Team scores: Middleton 324, Waunakee 357, Madison Memorial 364, Stoughton 372, Reedsburg 384, Sun Prairie 387, Jefferson 415, Fort Atkinson 431.

Middleton scores: Kate Meier 82, Glenna Sanderson 79, Milanne Dahmen 83, Ellie Frisch 83.

At The Oaks, par 70

 

Oct. 4

WIAA Division 1 Baraboo Regional

Team scores: Middleton 340, Waunakee 360, Sun Prairie 374, Reedsburg 379, Madison West 384, Portage 384, DeForest 386, Baraboo 398, Monona Grove 467.

Middleton scores: Kate Meier 82, Milanne Dahmen 83, Ellie Frisch 84, Amanda Beckman 91, Makenzie Hodson 91.

At Baraboo Country Club, par 72

 

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