By Victoria Dahlin—
The season ended for the North Branch girls golf team in the first round of the Section 7AAA Championships May 28 at Grand National Golf Course in Hinckley.
Sophomore Emily Carlson led the Vikings and just missed qualifying for the next round with a score of 92 (45/47), while freshman Janice Elkerton carded a 99 (49/50); senior Lauren Ibinger, 102 (51/51); junior Emily Lawrence, 117 (56/61); sophomore Hannah Gomes, 117 (57/60); and sophomore Sarah Harris, a 121 (58/63).
“Despite all the rain, the course was in pretty good condition,” said Coach Dave Ambers. “There was quite a bit of casual water, but other than the wash-outs in many of the bunkers, the recent excessive rainfall didn’t affect play very much. The biggest excitement of the day for us came in the last hour of the event, after all our golfers were already off the course. Emily Carlson’s 92 put her in the running for a spot in the second day. It wasn’t until the last foursome came in that we knew that 90 would be the cut-off score.”
(Individuals advancing to the second day are chosen after the scores of the leading team’s players are eliminated. Then, the next five lowest scores are used to determine the qualifying score. Five strokes are added to the fifth lowest score to determine the cut-off number.)
“Although this event marked the end of our season, we have some real reasons to look forward with optimism to next year,” Ambers continued. “Lauren has been our best golfer over the last two seasons and has been playing with us since she was a seventh grader. We’ll miss her. However, the dramatic improvement of our younger players, particularly Emily Carlson and Janice Elkerton, since the middle of the season, is very encouraging. Congratulations to all the girls for all their hard work and thanks to their parents for all the support and cooperation and to their teachers who helped them keep up with their schoolwork, despite all the class time the players missed.”