Golf: Elk girls 5th in sectional, won’t return to state

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River girls golf had a disappointing day as Section 7AA opened Monday in Hinckley and won’t be making a third consecutive trip to state.

Off their game, the Elks finished fifth, although two individuals, Mary Elmquist and Samantha Lindeen, made the cut to return Thursday for the final 18.

“We did not play well. Maybe we were overconfident,” said coach Dave Bleyhl. “We’ve got to shoot in the low 80’s, and we had two scores in mid 80’s and two in the 90’s. Fifth place is horrible. I thought we would do better.”

Andover, a conference rival, was the surprise leader. Sierra Langlie of Andover was low shooter with 73 and Haley Tolette added a 78.

“Andover had a career day,” said Bleyhl. “We beat them five tournaments this year and all of a sudden they beat us in the section.”

Andover, Grand Rapids and Forest Lake are the three teams advancing among 13 entrants. St. Francis also beat the Elks, who totaled 350.

Elmquist, a senior, and Lindeen, a sophomore, each shot 85. They’d probably have to shoot in the 78-80 range Thursday to make state, said Bleyhl. “But they could do it,” he said.

If they get the chance.

“I have to hope for good weather on Thursday and they’re saying it’ll probably¬† rain that day,” said Elmquist. “If it rains, it reverts back to the first day and then we’d be out.”

Miranda Ray and Lexa Filipiak each shot 90. Morgan Bleyhl, often the team’s low shooter, had 93.

The Elks had a rough first hole, Bleyhl said, battling a stiff wind which they didn’t handle well, on a par five hole.

“They all had trouble on it, and that sort of set the tone,” said Bleyhl.

The Elks were champion of Section 7AAA the last two years, and their conference for the last four years, and weren’t able to extend either streak, with a young team featuring just one senior, Elmquis