Golf: Yoemans shares state title, Winger girls second
COON RAPIDS — There was a point early in the 2017 season where Sophia Yoemans was the third best player on her team.
With three of the top six girls' golfers in Minnesota, some parity is a given. But Yoemans handled it in stride.
"In the beginning I was playing good, but they were playing better," Yoemans said. "It was nice. Kind of frustrating, but not really, because they were playing well and making our team better."
At the end of the year, Yoemans emerged as the Wingers' top player. She won medalist honors at the Section 1AAA championship. And after carding a two-day score of 146, Yoemans became co-state champion at the Class 3A state championship meet Wednesday at Bunker Hills Golf Club.
"She wouldn't have been able to handle winning last year. This year, she's ready," Red Wing head coach Mark Herzog said of Yoemans. "She wasn't finishing ahead of Leah (Herzog) earlier in the year and she handled it great and that showed me that she's really matured. She's ready for this."
Mark continued, "I've had three kids finish runner-up. Never had a champion. I'm very proud of Sophia. She played really well. All the girls played really well throughout the season and Sophia just got a little better at sections and state."
With 73s on both days, Yoemans shared the state championship with Edina's Joanna Kim.
"I really like Joanna. We had a good two rounds together and we've played together in summer tournaments before," Yoemans said. "We're pretty close. She's a good person to share it with."
Through nine holes on Wednesday, Yoemans was the clubhouse leader with two-under par 34.
"I hit the ball really well. I didn't miss any greens and my putting was really good," Yoemans said. "It was nice having momentum going into the next nine."
Yoemans was one-over on the back. She scored a birdie on 11 before hitting back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17.
"She played really good and putted well," Mark said. "She had all parts of her game going and she just got into a good comfort zone."
Yoemans was far from the only Winger to bring home medals on Wednesday as the team finished second with a score of 643. Edina was the state champion for the third straight year with a two-day score of 607.
In her sixth and final state tournament, Stephanie Herzog was sixth with a two-day total of 152, and Leah Herzog tied for seventh with 153.
"It's pretty cool that we have three people on our team in the top eight," said Stephanie, who shot a 76 on Day 2. "That's pretty much unheard of in most towns. It was really cool to see a teammate pull it off (for a state title)."
Sydney Flack closed out the tournament with a two-day total of 200, while Ava Bremseth had a 205 and Emily Otteson a 207 to wrap up her prep career.
"I'm really happy with how our team played," Stephanie said. "Last year was a huge disappointment getting third. This year, we knew Edina was probably going to beat us, but it was nice to know we did what we could and secured second."
Mark added, "We've never had more than one place at state ... maybe I had two in 2A but not in 3A. We have three girls that placed, we'll have a co-medalist, (we finished) runner-up. I think it's been a really great season. I'm really proud of all my girls."