After a disappointing debut April 29 at Bunker Hills, the North Branch girls golf team played better May 2 at Columbia Golf Course and May 7 at Victory Links.
The team carded a 222 to tie Chisago Lakes for eighth place behind Spring Lake Park (175), Benilde-St. Margaret’s (184), St. Louis Park (188), Irondale (191), St. Francis (192), Totino-Grace (200) and Fridley (207).
Emily Carlson led the team with a 53, while fellow junior Sarah Harris came in with a 54. Sophomore Janice Elkerton hit a 56, junior Hannah Gomes, a 59, and sophomore Grace DeVault, a 61.
“With this spring’s seemingly never ending winds howling from the north, the Vikings averaged three to five strokes fewer per nine holes,” said coach Dave Ambers. “The biggest improvement came from Sarah Harris (who’s) been struggling with her swing this year. Hopefully this nice round will help her regain some confidence.”
The team totaled 228 to finish last at Victory Links, while Benilde St. Margaret’s (172), Spring Lake Park (173) and St. Francis (175) came in at the top of the conference meet.
Elkerton led the Vikings with a season best of 49.
“The conditions were the best we’ve seen this season,” Ambers said. “The sky was clear, the wind was light and the course was in the best shape of all courses we’ve played. Still, as a team we didn’t take advantage of the conditions. Janice is showing improvement with every round. We were missing a couple of regulars for this meet, and junior Maddie Alden (58) and eighth grader Ruth Elkerton (60) filled in. Both girls did a nice job, and their scores were good enough to count in the final total. We started slowly last year, too. Let’s hope we continue to improve as we did in 2012.”