WATERTOWN-Five days seems like an eternity for the Mitchell High School girls golf team.
Kernel head coach Keri Munsen was effusive in her comments after the Brookings Invite, where her team put forth one of their best efforts of the season. On Monday, Mitchell struggled at the Watertown Invitational at Cattail Crossing Golf Course.
The Kernels shot a 389 to place 10th out of 13 teams and 83 strokes behind first-place Sioux Falls O'Gorman in what Munsen deemed "a step back."
"We were really on a high and then turning around showing that type of scores is kind of a slap in the face," Munsen said. "The girls were kind of down on themselves, but that's why they shot the way they did. You've got to pick yourself up sometimes when you don't want to."
Mitchell was three strokes from moving up to eighth place, but still saw a large gap from the top half of the field.
Masy Mock posted the team's lowest score, shooting an 83 that tied her for 17th place on the day. Kailee Henglefelt tied for 36th with a 93, while Quinn Dannenbring was 57th with a 104. Olivia Huber finished tied for 62nd with a 109, while Allison Meyerink was 66th with a 112.
"They're starting to realize how much the mental game goes into this sport," Munsen said. "When you are unable to shake off your bad holes, it just gets worse from there. That was one of our biggest issues today-our mental aspect."
Mitchell's sluggish performance came on a day in which most of the field registered low scores. O'Gorman's Carly Kunkel was the medalist after shooting a 71, while teammate Jenna Sutcliffe posted a 76 for second place.
The Kernels will now look to shrug off their performance and look toward improving for the state tournament, which is slated to be held on the same course on June 3-4.
"We're looking forward to getting better as the state tournament gets closer," Munsen said. "Taking this step back really put into perspective the things we need to work on to compete with some of those teams. ... We have to look at today as a practice for the state tournament, since it is on that course."
Mitchell competes in the Eastern South Dakota Conference tournament on Thursday at Broadband Creek Golf Course in Huron.