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Kernels, Rice in 11th after first round of Class AA state tourney

Mitchell’s Jaron Weich tees off on the 11th hole of the Class AA boys’ state golf tournament Monday at the Brandon Golf Course in Brandon Valley. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

BRANDON — Jacob Rice leads the Mitchell Kernels after the first day of the Class AA boys’ state golf tournament.

The junior is tied for 11th after carding a 74 Monday at Brandon Golf Course. The Kernels, who took 14th at state last year, finished in 11th as a team with a 321 after the opening round.

“Earlier in the season, that’s about where we were,” Mitchell co-head coach Rob Marchand said. “We were in a little bit of a slump in the last part of the year, so it’s nice to see the guys play well on the first day.”

Marchand said his team put itself in good position to finish in the top 10. Sioux Falls Washington sits in front of Mitchell in 10th with a 317, and seventh-place Harrisburg leads the Kernels by eight strokes with a 313. Sioux Falls O’Gorman leads the field by five strokes with a 289.

“You just don’t know. A lot of things can happen,” Marchand said. “Hopefully, we didn’t expend all of our energy and have some left in the tank to do well again.

“(Today) is a big day.”

Jaron Weich was Mitchell’s second-highest finisher after the first day with a 79. Landon Pooley carded an 82, Cade Carpenter had an 85, Ryan Solberg finished with a 94 and Ryker Kreutzfeldt carded a 107.

O’Gorman’s Max Donohue has the lead after the opening round with a 67, leading Sioux Falls Lincoln’s Tommy Vining by one stroke.

The second and final round of the tournament begins at 9 a.m. today.