ESCANABA - Big gusts of wind made it a frustrating day for many of the golfers who took the course at Escanaba Country Club today, but still, some found a way to put up impressive scores.
Gladstone's Ben Lasecki was the lone boys golfer to break 80 on this blustery day, hitting 77. On the girls side, Avery Rochester of Marquette fired a 42 through nine holes.
The Escanaba girls took the meet by 15 strokes, winning with a score of 196. Gladstone was runner-up with 211 followed by Marquette with 214. On the boys side, Gladstone won by 17 strokes at 341. Escanaba followed at 358 and Marquette shot 360.
Keith Shelton | Daily Press
Ben Lasecki of Gladstone watches his putt on the No. 1 green Thursday at Escanaba Country Club during a prep golf meet.
Keith Shelton | Daily Press
Gladstone’s Paige Tardiff chips out of a sand trap near the No. 1 green Thursday at Escanaba Country Club.
"Most coaches would say 196 is an eye-opening score and not just because of the conditions," Escanaba coach Brian Robinette said of his girls team. "We have a target score of 400 for 18 holes and 200 for nine. We were four-under that today, so it was a very remarkable score for the conditions we played in - 20-30mph winds today. It made everything tough."
Kelsey Motto was tied for runner up along with Gladstone's Callie Jensen at 44, though Jensen's card was slightly skewed.
"Callie felt like she played a very good round but had one hole that she took a 10 on, and still shot a 44. It tells you what kind of round she had," said Gladstone coach Dane Quigley. "If she cleaned up that one hole, she definitely would have improved her score and maybe been the medalist. She's played well the last couple meets, she's been consistent. I know she was disappointed, but that's the way golf is. One bad hole can hurt you, and in this case, that's what happened. She'll learn from it and I'm fully confident that she'll post a better score next week."
Quigley praised his boys team as well and is excited about the potential they have.
"Ben Lasecki, for the conditions on the course today, that's a pretty good score. I'm surprised anyone broke 80 and Ben had a nice round," he said. "We had a couple of other kids with nice scores and the nice thing about those kids (Kyle Pouliot and Adam Scheeneman) is they're both freshmen. So I'm very excited about what we did today and what we can do in the future. I thought for the conditions, that our kids played very well."
Robinette credited his girls team for having the right attitude to play through unfavorable conditions.
"You have to have some mental stamina to deal with it. It just didn't allow you hit a shot off the club face and get away with it. That 196, I expect my girls to play the way they've been practicing. I expect reasonable numbers," he said. "I can tell there's a mission in mind. Whether it's self or group thought, there's a winning attitude right now. I'm not sure where it's coming from, but I'm not going to question it. It's probably a little bit self-belief. When you work at your trade, success follows and time has been put in."
Gladstone's Kyle Pouliot was the runner-up on the boys side. Nick Aird was Gladstone's leader and fifth overall. Only eight players out of 50 on the boys side broke 90.
"All of us finished in the top 12, but no one was under 85. I was proud of the way they gritted it out and finished their round hard," said Robinette. "That said, as a coach, you have to express some concern to all of them that they aren't in Gladstone's league right now with the numbers they're putting up. We have to find a way to match what they do. We have to set the bar there and if we can't reach it, we'll find ourselves looking up."
Escanaba's Dylan Gauthier played his first round today after being granted the use of a cart by the MHSAA. Robinette was pleased all around with Gauthier's progress. Though Gauthier broke 90 and would have been among the top 10, Robinette was more concerned about how he felt physically both during and after the game.
"From a physical standpoint, we're looking if he can make a swing comfortably, will he do more harm to his injury and how does he feel when he's done playing," said Robinette. "All signs point to good. He would have had the second best score on the team today. We want to give it a little more time because it could have been adrenaline. We'll see how he feels tomorrow."
Gladstone (341) - Ben Lasecki 77, Kyle Pouliot 83, Adam Scheeneman 87, Max Strasser 94, Dave Dykowski 98.
Escanaba (358) - Nick Aird 87, Dane Casperson 89, Nick Laviolette 91, Phil LaMarch 91, Nick LeMire 92.
Marquette (360) - Scott Frazier 86, Brett Specker 89, Mike Mahee 92, Jordan Frazier 93, Nick Webber 96.
Iron Mountain (360) - Austin Bloomquist 85, Matt Willman 89, Tony Ward 91, Nate Markell 95, Gage Redding 110.
Kingsford (368) - Nick Baldwin 90, Derek Carpenter 90, Marcus Andrews 92, Cole Michaud 96, Luke Wahoviak 99.
Escanaba (196) - Kelsey Motto 44, Payton Shelafoe 46, Jalyn Dagenais 53, Abbey Strom 53.
Gladstone (211) - Callie Jensen 44, Paige Tardiff 49, Gabby Movalson 54, Mackenzie Pardonnet 64.
Marquette (214) - Avery Rochester 42, Katie Pryor 51, Hanna Crampton 58, Maddy Connon 63.
Iron Mountain (217) - Katelynn Johnson 49, Kathryn Brow 55, Cassie Feira 55, Maria Pirkola 58.
Kingsford (269) - Taylor Jacobson 53, Marissa Cevigney 64, Rachel Cevigney 70, Abby Johnson 82.