by Eric Oslund
The Elk River girls golf team qualified three players for the state tournament – seniors Grace O’Konek and Dani Dokken, along with freshman Abbey Filipiak.
Filipiak has been the Elks’ top golfer all season long and continued that pace in the state tournament. It began with an 85 she shot the first day, a mark she would improve on with an 80 the second day. Her 2-day score of 165 tied her for 25th in the state.
According to her coach, Filipiak is a workaholic when it comes to golf. She can always be found out on the golf course improving her game, so it was no surprise to anyone that she performed as well as she did on the state’s biggest stage.
O’Konek and Dokken are a bit of different stories. They are also talented golfers in their own right, and often held some of the team’s lowest scores during the season, but they usually take a different approach when it comes to practice, preferring to have fun with one another.
The seniors enjoy just heading out on the course and having a good time, and were both excited to be competing at state.
O’Konek would finish tied for 50th with a 2-day score of 176, and Dokken was right behind her, tied for 55th with a 2-day score of 179.
With the 2017 season in the books, the Elks now begin to look to the future. O’Konek, her twin sister Isabel and Dokken are all graduating, which means there will be plenty of opening for younger players to step up into, and if you ask the team’s head coach Dave Bleyhl, there is a ton of young talent just chomping at the bit, waiting for their opportunity.