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Golf: Lake City girls finish runner-up at Class 2A state tournament

The Lake City girls' golf team took second behind Detroit Lakes at the Class 2A state tournament. Pictured, from left to right, are assistant coach Abby Gruber, Marah Rothgarn, Taylor Willers, Lidia Wallerich, Lexi Geolat, Olivia Matzke, Ava Wallerich and head coach Steve Randgaard. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
Lake City freshman Ava Wallerich tees off during the final round Wednesday. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Lake City junior Levi Herbst putts on the 18th green. The Lake City boys' golf team took sixth at the class AA meet. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Lake City senior Lexi Geolat receives her sixth-place medal. This was Geolat's fifth year qualifying for the state tournament and her highest finish. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

JORDAN — The Lake City girls' golf team finished second behind Detroit Lakes at the Class 2A state golf tournament. The Tigers shot a two-day score of 653 to finish four strokes behind Detroit Lakes. Lake City was in the lead entering Day 2.

Senior Lexi Geolat, who made the state tournament for the fifth-straight year, placed sixth as an individual with a score of 157 and was just strokes behind the fifth-place finisher.

While the Tigers improved their team score by 11 strokes from the first to second day, winner Detroit Lakes used an amazing second-day score to edge them out. Day 1 saw Lake City take scores of 76 (Geolat), 83 (Olivia Matzke), 83 (Ava Wallerich), and 90 (Lidia Wallerich); while the second day their scores were 79 (Matzke), 80 (Ava Wallerich), 81 (Geolat) and 81 (Lidia Wallerich)

Head coach Steve Randgaard said that he was proud of his girls, but that Detroit Lakes just shot that much better.

"We gave it a good battle, they (Detroit Lakes) just played better," he said. "I saw them hit some real clutch putts down the stretch and they had four kids in the 70s. Nothing against our girls, we had five girls shoot 82 or under, it was a great season and a great run, we just fell a little short."

With this being the fifth year that Geolat has qualified for the state tournament, and the second time she has placed, she said that it is a great way to end her high school career, especially being able to do it with her teammates.

"It's pretty awesome," Geolat said. "I know individually, I've wanted to place ever since I started playing golf and this is my second time placing individually so that's pretty awesome. Coming in second to some of the best teams in the state has been awesome as well. We've all been working so hard for this and getting to state each year I've been here, it's been super fun."

Geolat will be playing collegiate golf next year at North Dakota State University, and Randgaard said the team will miss her.

"She's had a great career and we will miss her dearly," he said.

Fellow senior Matzke shot an 83 on day one and a 79 the second day for a two-day score of 162. She finished ninth overall and was just one stroke away from being a medalist. Freshman Ava Wallerich (83-80) finished just a shot behind Matzke to tie for 10th and will return as a core member of the team next season. Senior Lidia Wallerich took 22nd with a score of 171 (90-81), while freshman Marah Rothgarn finished in 27th by shooting a 94-82 for a total of 176. Sophomore Taylor Willers tied for 68th with a 198 (103-95).

Lake City Boys

The Lake City boys' golf team took sixth out of eight teams at the Class 2A state tournament, also held Ridge at Sand Creek. The team shot a 630 overall, were four strokes back of fifth place and 43 behind The Blake School which ran away with the team title.

The Tigers shot a first-day 313 behind 77s from juniors Brennan Rothgarn and Levi Herbst, a 78 from junior Thomas Huettl and junior Riley Fritz added an 81. Day 2 saw scores rise a little as Lake City shot a 317. Rothgarn shot a 75, Huettl stayed consistent with another 78, while Fritz and junior Carter Gnotke added 82s.

Rothgarn tied for 23rd with a 152 (77-75), 13 strokes back from winner Cecil Belisle from Red Wing. Huettl tied for 37th with a two-day score of 156 (78-78), Herbst shot a 160 (77-83) to tie for 55th, Fritz took 67th with a 163 (81-82) while Gnotke placed two spots behind him tied for 69th with a 165 (83-82), and junior Parker Schurhammer tied for 72nd by shooting a 167 (83-84).

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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