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Tiger girls see success on the greens

The MA/C-A girls golf team included (front from left) Megan Kirkeide, Katie Ohren, Halli Lubenow, Shiori Legate, (back from left) head coach Austen Miller, Maddie Hennen, Kora Hoversten, Miranda Hesse, Peyton Hennen, Morgan Ruona, and not pictured Lily Erdal. (Aaron Jones / MAHS Yearbook)

The Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta girls’ golf team had a very successful season, ending with a team trip to the Section 3AA meet. This was the year for the Tiger girls. Head coach Austen Miller started out the season with two main goals: to finish top 5 in the conference and to beat Benson in the subsection meet. The Tigers finished fourth in the West Central Conference and not only beat Benson in the subsection meet, but won the title, sending the entire team to the Section 3AA meet. That is the best finish the Tiger girls have had in all of Miller’s years of coaching.

The Tigers graduated one lone senior in Lily Erdal who had a fantastic day at the section meet, shooting a 92, her personal best. Erdal averaged a 56 in West Central Conference competition. Her best meet was in Benson where she finished with a 50 and led her team to a third place finish behind the two top conference finishers BOLD and Minnewaska.

“[The section meet] was a great way for Lily to end her high school golf career. She has been a vital member of our team for the past three years and will be greatly missed,” Miller said.

Megan Kirkeide shot a personal best at the Section 3AA meet, finishing the day with a 96. Kirkeide’s personal best in conference play was a 50 at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City where she led the rest of the Tigers to a sixth place finish.

“I am extremely proud of Megan’s achievement throughout the year,” Miller said. “For an eighth grader who was playing with some of the best golfers in the state to perform so well, especially at sections, says a lot about her mental toughness and her competitive drive.”

Peyton Hennen also shot her personal best with a 121. Along with participating in subsections and sections, Hennen participated in four varsity conference meets this season as well. Her personal best was in Montevideo when she finished with a 65. With some hard work over the summer, Hennen will look to improve upon her first season as a varsity golfer coach Miller said. “Peyton has a passion for the game.”

Shiori Legate and Maddie Hennen shot a 94 and 103, respectively, at the section meet. Though the girls both wish they would have played better, coach Miller is still proud of their performance in the final meet of the year and believe that they will come back better and hungrier next season. Legate averaged a 48 in conference play and had a personal best of 43, finishing in a tie for second at the Paynesville meet.

Hennen continually improved throughout the season, shooting her personal best of 46 during the last day of conference play in Montevideo. Both Shiori and Maddie led the Tigers to the subsection title, shooting 95s.

“I am more than excited for the future of the girls' golf team in Morris,” Miller said. “This was the best season our program has had in many years and I am confident that it is only going to get better in the years to come!”

Brooke Kern

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