Wingers halt Minnewaska's epic win streak
Some might say the Wingers accomplished the impossible Wednesday at the prestigious Alexandria Invitational, but Red Wing girls golf coach Mark Herzog hopes it's just a start for his talented, veteran squad.
The Wingers' score of 333 bested Wayzata by nine stroke and Minnewaska by 14 in Alexandria. The last number is most significant, as it's the first time the five-time defending state champion Lakers haven't finished first since the 2006 season — a stretch of 78 matches, according to Minnewaska coach Peggy Falk.
"They were happy they were the first ones to break the streak, but there's another streak they want a shot at, too," said Herzog, who has a lineup of four seniors and two juniors who have been through most of previous setbacks.
After winning the Class A championship in 2006 and 2007, Minnewaska has won the last three Class AA state titles since the Minnesota State High School League went to a three-class system. Red Wing has finished second each season since 2008 — by margins of 54, 67 and 15 strokes.
Minnewaska, which graduated its top two golfers from a year ago, defeated the Wingers again this spring by two strokes on April 19. Red Wing junior Katie Kesti and senior Danielle Brooks, who will play next year at Drake University, made sure there was a different outcome on Wednesday.
Kesti placed third with an 80, while Brooks was fourth at 81. Junior Marisa Toivonen and senior Nikki Pasch carded 86 apiece to complete the streak-busting performance.
Ashley Brooks and Anna Busch rounded out Red Wing's deep varsity lineup with 89 and 95, respectively.
"They've definitely wanted to beat them," Herzog said. "We were close last year a couple times, and again at TPC (on April 19). They were all pretty happy, but I think they could have played even better today.
"They want to be able to get better, get through our section and get another shot at them (at state), too."
The teams will meet again May 10 at Mississippi National Golf Links for the Winger Invitational. Many expect the two to square off at the Class AA state tournament June 15-16 at Ridges at Sand Creek for the fourth straight year.