May 27, 2010 at 10:19 a.m.
The North Branch girls golf team close their North Suburban Conference schedule with an 18-hole event at the beautiful TPC Twin Cities in Blaine last week.
Not only was it played on the renowned TPC, the girls got wonderful weather for the event too. "We had perfect conditions for the meet," Head Coach Dave Ambers said. "The kids had an opportunity to play on a beautiful track and they really seemed to enjoy it."
But, there was some business to be tended too, and North Branch did their part, finishing in sixth place again in the 18-hole meet. Rarely has the team deviated from their sixth place finishes this year in the conference events, as they have been smack dab in the middle of the standings almost every time.
Per the Vikings season to this point, Katie Foley was again the top scorer on the day for North Branch, carding an 87, which was good enough for third overall at the meet. The finish earned Foley her second consecutive NSC All-Conference award.
"She's really played well the last few weeks," Ambers noted. "She's getting more distance off the tee and that's translating into easier approach shots and she's using it to her advantage."
Foley got plenty of support from her companions, as Emily Juve shot a 110, Laurel Dresel shot a 109 and freshman Alyssa Ramberg carded an impressive 107 on the tough course.
Irondale won the meet with a 343, 45 strokes clear of second place St. Francis, which carded a 389. St. Louis Park had a 390, Benilde-St. Margaret's scored a 401 and Totino Grace scored a 410 to finish in front of North Branch's 413.
Spring Lake Park, Chisago Lakes and Fridley rounded out the standings.
On the year, Irondale finished with the perfect score of 99, winning every meet. St. Francis, BSM and St. Louis Park were in a battle for second, third and fourth, with the Saints earning second and BSM and SLP following them. Totino Grace finished fifth with 57 total points and North Branch wasn't far behind with 48 points.
Spring Lake Park finished seventh with 31 points, Chisago Lakes had 25, Fridley had 11 and Robbinsdale Cooper brought up the rear, finishing with no points.
After the golf was over, the girls collected the conference plaque as the team academic champions. "For the second year in a row, we took home the academic award. This year our collective 3.806 GPA allowed us to edge Chisago Lakes," Ambers explained. "It's a nice tribute to the kids, the support they get from their families and the cooperation of their teachers. The players miss a lot of school during golf season and it takes extra effort from the players, the parents and the teachers to get the kind of results we do."
Juve and Laurel also earned recognition as seniors for Academic All-Conference.
The girls closed their regular season with a Saturday invite last week on May 22. There was only two other conference teams in it, as well as some other teams from the surrounding areas.
The event started at 7:30 a.m. in a cool, foggy haze, but by 11 a.m., a storm front moved in and pushed the girls off the course for about an hour while the lightning passed.
Upon returning to the course, Foley continued her impressive late-season play by carding a 47-45-92, which was good enough to earn her second place overall in the meet. "We really count on Katie to put a low number on the board for us, and she rarely disappoints us.
Sophomore Lauren Ibinger had herself quite the day, carding her best nine and best 18 in the same day. She had a 50-49-99. It's the first time Ibinger has broken the 50 barrier in a nine hole round and the first time she broke 100 in a full 18. "She's worked real hard to make herself a better golfer, and it was real nice to see the smile on her face when she handed her scorecard in," Ambers said.
Dresel carded a 109 and Juve had a 115 to complete North Branch's scoring.
Minnehaha Academy won the meet with a 382, St. Francis was second with a 395 and Providence Academy finished in third with a 399.
North Branch finished in fourth place with a 415, just narrowly beating out Chanhassen, who scored a 416.