The Brainerd Warriors girls' golf team shocked the state last June by winning the Class AA championship.
After finishing third in the Central Lakes Conference the Warriors went on to the Section 8AA meet at Park Rapids and stunned heavily favored and conference champion Rocori by one stroke.
At state the Warriors led after the first round by six shots. They were declared the champions when threatening weather forced cancellation of play on the final day of the tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids.
Trailing Brainerd at state were Owatonna with 352 strokes, Wayzata 355, Elk River 357, Grand Rapids 363, Hutchinson 367, Woodbury 368 and Totino Grace 394.
Head coach -- Jean Martin, 10th year
1999 finish -- Third in CLC, Section 8AA champion, Class AA state champion
Returning golfers -- Seniors Marni Lundbohm, Cecilia Meidinger; junior Lisa Renneke
Assistant coach -- Brian Stark
(4 p.m. meets unless noted.)
11-CLC at Little Falls
13-CLC at Rocori
18-CLC at PINE MEADOWS
20-CLC at Sartell
22-Staples-Motley Inv. at the Legacy, 9 a.m.
24-CLC at St. Cloud
25-at PINES INV., 2 p.m.
26-CO-ED INV. at MADDEN'S CLASSIC, 3:30 p.m.
3-at Park Rapids Inv., 9 a.m.
5-at Fergus Falls, 8:30 a.m.
8-CLC at Willmar
11-at Breezy Point Inv., 4:30 p.m.
15-CLC at St. Cloud
24-Section 8AA at Park Rapids, 9 a.m.
25-at Preserve Invitational
6-7 Class AA state tournament at Bunker Hills, TBA
"We would love a chance to repeat," Warriors coach Jean Martin said.
Three members of the state championship team return -- senior captain Marni Lundbohm, senior Cecilia Meidinger and junior Lisa Renneke.
Lundbohm tied for 19th at state with an 18-hole score of 85.
"Marni played our No. 1 spot last year and played very well," Martin said. "She worked on her game over the summer, played in some big tournaments and did well. Her leadership and desire to be the best are qualities that make her a nice all-around player. She has great work ethic and her game shows it."
Meidinger tied for 34th place at state by firing a 90.
"Cecilia was our utility player last year," Martin said. "She came through with some good rounds when our team needed it. We look for Cecilia to be a steady player for us this year. Her game has steadily improved over the years. We look forward to seeing her have a good season."
Renneke tied for 24th place at state with an 86.
"Lisa has always hit the long ball," Martin said. "Over the past few years, she has worked on her short game and her overall game has improved. She finished last season strong and we look for her to continue where she left off.
"Lisa is a great competitor and knows now what it takes to win. Her experience at the varsity level will really help us."
The Warriors must replace graduates Claire Owens, Angie Hanske and Mandy Sheets. Hanske tied for 19th at state, Owens was 57th and Sheets 69th.
Martin said the ability to find steady 4-5-6 players is necessary for the Warriors to repeat their success of last season.
"We have girls who should fill in nicely to round out our team," Martin said. "We look for seniors Laura Furda and Amanda Christensen to help out a lot this season. The experience they have had at the junior varsity level should help this year's team."
Other candidates include: sophomores Erin Fossum, Tiffany Klang, Krista Parrish, Katie Toumi, Katie VandeBrake and Lauren Vogt; freshmen Kate Bjornson, Katie Diiro, and Julie Williams; and eighth-grader Nikki Bender.
"The coaches are excited to see so many girls out for golf," Martin said. "The program has grown to more than 50 girls. It's nice to see interest growing each year.
"The junior high program has the highest numbers in all of my coaching years. That's where it all starts. It's nice to see the high school girls improve each season. Start to finish there is much improvement. That is what it is all about."
Brainerd's competition in the section this spring will include Alexandria, Bemidji, Crookston, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Little Falls, Moorhead, Princeton, Rocori, St. Cloud Apollo and Tech, Sartell-St. Stephen, Sauk Rapids-Rice and Thief River Falls.
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