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Mitchell’s Madison VanWalleghen hits a shot during the Hub City Invitational Wednesday in Aberdeen. VanWalleghen will compete in the Class AA state tournament Monday and Tuesday in Pierre. (John Davis/Aberdeen American News)

Mitchell co-head girls golf coach Rob Marchand feels good about how his golfers are playing heading into the state tournament.

The Kernels shot its third-best score at the Eastern South Dakota Conference Friday with a 380. It was the second time this season that Mitchell has played at Hillsview Golf Course in Pierre. In the first outing at the course, Mitchell shot a 374.

“We know what certain holes that are going to be difficult and we’re able to lay out a strategy on how to play those holes,” Marchand said.

The Kernels return to Pierre’s Hillsview Golf Course Monday for the Class AA state tournament, which begins at 9 a.m.

Last season, Mitchell finished ninth at the state tournament, carding an 808 over the two-day tournament. Marchand said the Kernels hope to be back in the top 10 after the final round Tuesday.

The Kernels have four players with state tournament experience this season, including Macy Miller, who made the all-ESD golf team Friday after tying for eighth, Kylie Barington, Allison Miller and Madison VanWalleghen. Last year, Macy Miller finished 30th, Barington tied for 53rd, VanWalleghen was tied for 78th and Allison Miller tied for 88th at state, which was in Yankton.

“They know what to expect at state, but with golf, it’s how you are that day,” Marchand said. “You could be just as successful having never played in the state tournament.”

Mitchell’s other two state representatives are Taylor Volesky and Blair Overweg. The best four scores count toward the team score on each day of the state tournament.

Macy Miller is the first Mitchell golfer to tee off on the front nine at 10:20 a.m., with Taylor Volesky leading the golfers on the back nine at 9 a.m.

Pierre won the state title last year and has another strong season. The Governors won the conference tournament, beating the rest of the field by 18 strokes, and look to repeat this season.

In the individual competition, there will be a new state champion as last year’s winner, Pierre’s Hallie Getz, graduated. However, another Pierre golfer, Karissa Guthrie, has had a solid season. Guthrie won ESD Friday and took 10th at last year’s state tournament.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.