Laffen finishes second at Class A state meet
BECKER – Sleepy Eye’s Lauren Laffen shot an 80 on the second day and finished the Class A State Tournament with a two-day total of 167 Wednesday, good enough four second place overall.
Laffen finished four strokes back of Russell-Tyler-Ruthton’s Hannah Kruger, who shot a 163 over the two-day event.
Laffen’s finish was a historic one for the Indians as her and teammate Emily Curtis both finished with an 80 on the day, setting a school record for the girls. Curtis finished tied for 10 with a two-day total of 174.
Both Laffen and Curtis birdied three holes on the day. Overall, it was a big day for the Indians, who qualified for state as a team a year ago.
Laffen is just a freshman. But on Wednesday, she played like a seasoned veteran and didn’t try to do anything too fancy.
“It feels really good,” she said about finishing second in the state. “I was playing very conservative, I try to play very safe.”
“That was great, to shoot an 80 today, it was pretty great, especially as a freshman,” Sleepy Eye coach Kaleb Walter said.
There was some rain that hit the area, but not while the girls were golfing.
“We were pretty fortunate, the girls finished before the rain started today so it was a pretty good day,” Walter said.
As for Curtis, the senior and long-time leader for the Indians wrapped up a career that included three state tournament trips, including two as an individual.
“It feels good, I’m really glad that I could finish my last competitive round and my personal best,” Curtis said.
Of course it helped that she’s been there before.
“Definitely, it helps to know where everything is on the course,” Curtis said.
Laffen was a bit shocked when she saw her name amongst the tournament leaders.
“I’m kind of speechless about it,” Laffen said. “I mean, it’s a really big accomplishment for me. My goal is to get a medal…”
Buffalo-Lake-Hector-Stewart’s Carly Schmalz finished sixth overall with a score of 174 after she shot an 87 on the second day.
Springfield’s Shelby Schultz carded a two-day total of 193. New Ulm Cathedral’s Brooke Dummer finished 40th overall with a 200 and Sleepy Eye’s Karrah Remus ended the tournament with a 202 after two days.
“She finished right about the half-way point, it was the second time she played in the state tournament and first time individually, she was a sub-section medalist so she definitely can shoot better than what she shot the last couple of days,” Walter said.
Legacy Christian Academy finished the girl’s team portion with a 752, good enough for first place. Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (771), Wabasha-Kellogg (783), United South Central (785), Ortonville (815), Minneota (834), Mille Lacs (835) and Ottertail Central (880).
Madelia’s Jordan Henry finished with two-day total of 164 after firing an 87 on the second day of the tournament. His teammate, Mike Sorenson, shot a 165 (84 on the second day) and Springfield’s Christopher Kretsch finished the two-day event tied for 25th overall with a score of 165 after firing an 84 on the second day.
Kretsch was a member of the 2011 state championship team for the Tigers, so he’s familiar with the course.
“We played in 2011 so I’m familiar with the course,” Kretsch said. “They didn’t change much from when we played there last time.”
He wasn’t overly happy with his round, but he still played well considering it rained most of the day.
“I played even on the first six holes, then it started raining, and it down-poured four about eight to 10 holes, so the conditions were tough today,” Kretsch said.
Southwest Christian School’s Luke Johanson shot a 141 to win the event. Grant Exstad of Mille Lacs and Jade Hasslen of Ortonville both shot a 144 to tie for second.
Mille Lacs won the team event with a score of 652 and Murray County Central was second with a 671. Legacy Christian Academy (676), United South Central (677), Wabasha-Kellogg (679), Dawson-Boyd (680), Kittson County Central (695) and Mahnomen (707) rounded out the team scoring.