Coming off its third consecutive section title, the Gators Girls Golf team traveled to the Class A State Girls Golf Tournament, held June 15 and 16 from Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker— marking the program’s fifth overall state appearance as a team.
While there, the Gators girls added to their program’s state history and brought home some hardware. The Gators earned third place as a team in Class A with a score of 770— 24 strokes behind the state runner-up Park Christian Falcons and 50 strokes behind the state champion Lac qui Parle Valley Eagles.
Gator Head Golf Coach Val Truscinski called this finish “spectacular.” She recognized her two seniors, Alyssa Rinde and Anissah Novacek, for leading the way.
“It was fun for them to have a good ending to their year, especially after missing last year,” Coach Truscinski said. “I was really proud of my senior leaders and how they came through. They’re my one and two golfer(s) and they proved why they’re one and two.”
Gator senior Alyssa Rinde led the Gators and made a little program history of her own as an individual. Rinde tied for fourth place in the 84-golfer field with a two-day score of 170, just four strokes behind co-state champions: Emily Stueland of Park Christian and Sara Halvorson of Lac qui Parle Valley. After watching her drop her score throughout the season, Coach Truscinski described Rinde’s performance at Pebble Creek Golf Club as “phenomenal.”
“Pebble Creek is a pretty challenging golf course,” Coach Truscinski said, “and she (Rinde) handled it well.”
Coach Truscinski believed Rinde earned the best individual finish of any Gator girls golfer in the program’s history. Rinde had finished day one in fourth place with a score of 84, including shooting 36 on the front nine.
Rinde shot a score of 86 on day two to hang on to the fourth place spot— good enough to earn her some individual hardware.
Fellow senior Anissah Novacek finished eighteenth individually with a score of 186 to contribute to the team score. Novacek shot a 91 on day one and a 95 on day two.
Jasmine Christianson tied for fortieth overall with a score of 199, shooting a 100 on day one and a 99 on day two, to contribute to the team score. Jade Reese tied for sixtieth with a score of 215, shooting a 110 on day one and a 105 on day two, to also contribute to the team score. Also competing at the state meet for the Gators, Bethanie VonEnde finished with a two-day score of 262, shooting a day one score of 129 and a day two score of 133.
With the season’s end comes the time to officially say goodbye to three Gator seniors, in Rinde, Novacek, and boys golfer Dylan Peterson. Coach Truscinski said her seniors provided strong leadership.
She explained how the two girl seniors, along with Christianson and Reese, had golfed together for multiple years. Truscinski highlighted how inclusive these seniors were to the girls’ team’s fifth golfer Bethanie VonEnde.
“They were good to help with skills and they were good to help with giving advice on how to do things and what to work on and how to perfect a swing,” Coach Truscinski said. “…Whether it was a putt, a chip, or a drive, they were always willing to help out. So I am going to miss them (my seniors) a ton next year.”
To see the complete story, read the June 23 issue of The Tribune in print or online.