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Girls golf: Red Wing leads after one round

Red Wing golfers told coach Mark Herzog that they were more nervous before the first tee at Friday's Section 1AA tournament than they had been at any previous competition.

"A couple said they could feel their arms shaking," Herzog said.

He said such nerves often either paralyze or sharpen focus. In the Wingers' case the jitters did the latter as they shot a 329 at Eastwood Golf Course in Rochester. Herzog said it was the lowest first-day score Red Wing has ever shot in a section tournament.

The Wingers hold a 26-stroke lead over Lake City with 18 holes being all that stands between them and another berth in the state tournament.

"We set ourselves up really well for the second day," Herzog said.

The Tigers were one of the reasons for the nerves, according to Herzog. He noted that Lake City has been playing well in recent weeks.

"They knew if we didn't play well, or even if we played well, it would be close," Herzog said.

Red Wing senior Danielle Brooks and junior Katie Kesti each carded an 81 and tied for third. Brooks had to overcome a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball.

Marisa Toivonen, a junior, added an 82 while seniors Nikki Pasch and Ashley Brooks each recorded an 85. Toivonen came in fifth while Brooks and Pasch tied for seventh.

"Ashley and Nikki came on strong at the end of the round," Herzog said.

Abby Gruber led Lake City with an 84 and teammate Annalise Wallerich was two strokes back. Jennifer Schmidt (89) also had her rounds count toward the Tigers' team score. Carley Siewert, Mary Schmidt and Katy Bolduc all shot a 96.

Caledonia (357) and Byron (375) were the other two teams to advance to the second round of the section tournament on Friday.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa came in seventh with a 395, and Cannon Falls placed 13th with a 468. The meet consisted of 13 complete teams.

Even though the Cougars aren't returning as a team, their top four golfers will all be back for the second day of the section tournament because they were among the top 20 golfers who didn't play for one of the four best teams.

Nikki Westlake led Z-M with a 94. Hannah Brengman had her team's second best score, a 98. Molly Lawler fired a 100 while Cougars teammate Britani Peterman recorded a 103.