Mount Vernon Invite takes place at LakeviewFor many of the 114 golfers at the Mount Vernon Invite at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell, their first competition took place in less than ideal conditions.
By: Justin Rust, The Daily Republic
For many of the 114 golfers at the Mount Vernon Invite at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell, their first competition took place in less than ideal conditions.
Golfers from 17 different schools took to the course on Friday in the windy, overcast day.
But because of the uncooperative weather Mother Nature has provided so far this spring, it was one of the few chances many of the teams have had to get on a course and golf.
“Our main purpose for this meet is because a lot of schools around us don’t get on the courses right away,” Mount Vernon coach Pat Mikkonen said. “This is our first meet, and a lot of the schools, this is their first meet too.
“Because it’s an 18-hole course, we can have a lot of kids at this meet, so it continues to grow.”
The first meet of the year allows the golfers to raise the level of their games and to experience everything they have to do during a normal round early in the year, Mikkonen said.
“There’s that element of raising the game in terms of understanding the game, how to play the game and playing a true 18,” he said. “It’s good experience for all of the kids.”
Even though it was cold and windy, the meet also allowed the golfers to get off the practice range and face some actual competition.
“We need the competition to go out and hit the ball against other people than just hitting at the driving range or practicing,” Mitchell Christian coach Bryan Dixon said. “You got to go out and see what you are doing against other teams.
“You have to go out and do it whether it’s 40 and windy or 60 and sunny.”
Mitchell Christian had two golfers at the meet — senior Meghan Dixon and eighth-grader Ellie Bleeker.
Bryan Dixon said Meghan Dixon did a bit worse than he thought she would, but Bleeker put up a career day.
“(Ellie) shot a 116, which is her best ever, and for the first time out on the course, that’s pretty good,” he said. “Meghan shot a 108, which is about 10 strokes worse than I thought she should do. She had some problems with some wind and stuff.
“For the first time out, we will do what we can do and get better.”
Kimball took home the boys’ title at the Invite and Wagner won the girls’ team title.
Kimball shot 256 as a team and was led by Shawn Harmon and Russel Pick, who both shot 84.
Because the team was able to win a title at its first event of the year, it will be hard for it to sneak up on anyone, Kimball coach Jan Miedema said.
“I knew we had two guys that were going to golf well, and we had a third golfer that really stepped up and carried us,” he said. “We have high hopes. We set a goal — the state tournament as a team and to place as a team. Kimball has never placed in the state tournament, so that’s our goal.”
Wagner — led by Dakota Wesleyan recruit Talia Peters — won the girls’ competition with a team score of 284.
Peters shot a 90 and finished in second place.
“We haven’t had a lot of time on the course with the weather, so we did well,” Wagner coach Jim Jaeger said. “Talking with the girls, I know they threw some strokes away with the short game and stuff, but hopefully things continue to improve. They did well for the first one.”
Freeman’s Aaron Lickteig won individual boys’ title with a 77 and Andes Central’s Jenna Winckler won the girls’ title with an 87
For full results of this event, see Page 8.