Laffen takes first at Tomahawk Conf. Tourney

WINTHROP – It doesn’t happen too often when an underclassman dominates the three legs of the Tomahawk Conference boy’s golf meet.

It’s even more rare when that underclassman is an eighth-grader.

On Monday, Sleepy Eye eighth-grader Ben Laffen wrapped up the points title for the Tomahawk Conference, finishing ahead of Cedar Mountain’s Tristan Pietig and Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart’s Jack Broderius. Laffen finished Day 3 with a score of 81, which was tied with Pietig.

For Laffen and the rest of the golfers, it’s been difficult to get into a rhythm with all of the rain. He basically just tries to get out on the course when he can, which isn’t easy.

“I’ve just been taking it one shot at a time, putts are key for me, speed is key for me,” Laffen said. “The short game is key also, just hitting the ball straight out of the tee boxes.”

As an eighth-grader, Laffen admitted he did feel some pressure on the third day of the conference tournament.

“Yes, the first hole, it was tough,” Laffen said. “I was really nervous, but the first tee shot, I got that out of the way. I don’t know, it worked out though.”

The final conference standings and all-conference teams were not made available. They will be released at a later date.

Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Ryan Heinrich and Broderius each shot an 87 and Springfield’s Noah Bertram shot an 88. Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Jake Grunewald shot an 89 to finish sixth and Sleepy Eye’s Caleb Christensen shot a 91 to finish seventh. Cedar Mountain’s Brady Kerkhoff also shot a 91 and MVL’s Jacob Stuk shot a 91, along with Springfield’s Kale Meendering and Tanner Weisensel also shot a 92, along with GFW’s Jacob Woods.

Cedar Mountain won Monday’s event with a team score of 367, followed by Sleepy Eye (371), Springfield?(371), St. Mary’s (376, BLHS (377), MVL (383), Wabasso (412), New Ulm Cathedral (434) and GFW (Incomplete).

On the girl’s side, Cedar Mountain’s Courtney Nelsen shot a 92 and Sleepy Eye’s Lauren Laffen shot a 93 on Monday to close out the three-day event. Nelsen was the overall points leader for the girls. The final individual standings and All-Conference teams will be released at a later date.

Springfield’s Callie Wersal (95), Sleepy Eye’s Karrah Remus (97), Cathedral’s Brooke Dummer (98), Cathedral’s Grace Gillis (98), Springfield’s Jenna Roiger (100) and Carissa Evers (103), Wabasso’s Jenna Henriksen (104) and GFW’s Katelyn Seehafer (108), Cathedral’s Jordan Reinhart and Springfield’s Amanda Rogotzke (108) rounded out the Top 10.

Springfield finished with a team score of 406, followed by Cathedral (414), Sleepy Eye (430), GFW (458), St. Mary’s (501), Wabasso (511), BLHS (532), MVL (534) and Cedar Mountain (Incomplete) rounded out the team scoring.

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