Brother-sister duo off to state

Madeline Pagel of Lourdes competes in the All-City Golf Meet Monday at Eastwood Golf Course.

Rochester Lourdes has one of the most storied boys golf programs in Minnesota history.

The Eagles are second all-time in state appearances (20), second in overall titles (six) and first in top-three finishes (16).

The girls golf program at Lourdes has pumped out some mighty fine individuals, too. Between the two programs, there have been six individual state champions.

Not bad, considering Lourdes didn't join the Minnesota State High School League until the 1970s.

But throughout that time, Lourdes boys coach Chris Miller said he can't remember a brother-sister duo from Lourdes qualifying for state during the same year.


"That's pretty rare," he said.

Mark and Madeline Pagel hoped to make that happen a year ago during the Section One, Class AA meet. But they both missed out.

They wouldn't let the chance slip away this year.

Senior Mark Pagel helped Lourdes win the Section 1AA team title, allowing the Eagles to return to state for the first time since 2010. Madeline Pagel needed a big rally on the back nine at Eastwood Golf Course following a rain delay, but she got the job done, too, qualifying for state as an individual.

For Madeline, who is a sophomore, the state appearance was a major relief. She missed out on state by one spot as a freshman.

"I had very high hopes going into the section meet," she said. "Last year, being that close, it gave me all the motivation I needed."

Madeline Pagel struggled on the front nine, but she was one-under par on the back before a rain delay hit. "I was in trouble on the front," she said. "But I kept a positive attitude. I had five holes left when the rain came. A lot of people were doing calculations of what the cutoff would be. But I tried to stay away from all that. I just tried to stay loose and stay focused."

Pagel kept it together, playing what she called her best round of the season in shooting 83.


Mark Pagel hasn't had the best spring. He's struggled with his game, but he's played better over the last few weeks. At the section meet, he finally felt like he hit the ball well. He carded 80, which would not have qualified him as an individual, but his score did count toward his team's state-qualifying score of 308.

"Mark is someone who really respects the game," Miller said. "He handles himself so well, and he handles adversity well. He's a great role model."

Miller said that's been important for his team during a turbulent spring.

"Mark has struggled a little, but it's been tough because we didn't get any practice time," Miller said. "But I've been blessed with a team that has taken it all in stride. We have five seniors, and they're all great leaders."

The state appearance is a perfect way to end a great high-school career for Mark Pagel. It will be his fourth overall state appearance, going twice with the football team, once with the basketball team and now, the golf team.

"It's really cool that Madeline and I get to go together," said Mark Pagel, who will play basketball at St. Thomas next year. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun. We have five seniors, so it's a nice way to end it for us."

The Pagels will watch the leaderboard throughout the Class AA state meet, which is Tuesday and Wednesday at The Ridges at Sand Creek near Jordan.

"Yeah, I'll be watching to see how she does," Mark Pagel said. "It's cool for us, and I know my parents are excited. I think Madeline will do well. She's improved a lot and she's only going to get better. As a team, it's already great to be there, and doing well will make it that much better."


Madeline and Mark Pagel of Rochester Lourdes pose after both qualifying for state during the Section 1AA meet at Eastwood Golf Course. Mark Pagel is a senior for the Eagles, while Madeline is a sophomore. They'll play at the Class AA state meet Tuesday and Wednesday at The Ridges of Sand Creek near Jordan.

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