295 to victory

Girls golf consecutively breaks two school records to start the season

Olivia Torrez, Staff Writer

Lining up to hear the final scores at Pacific Springs Tournament, the MN girl’s golf team was elated when they heard their new record of 295, beating out their previous record of 319, set at their first tournament this year. Girl’s golf has now beaten two of their school records: their overall team strokes coming into this season were 322, which they have broken twice.

“It’s really fun to be part of a good team and we can always be together, and it’s really rewarding having the hard work pay off,” junior Katie Ruge said.

Ruge has been playing golf for MN since her freshman year. Last year, she set the school record for the individual low round by shooting a 69 at the Lincoln Plus X Invitational. She also won the state of Nebraska’s Women’s Matchplay this summer, becoming the second-youngest woman to win in the 97-year history of the tournament.

“It just makes me happy seeing our players succeed. You know they all are very hard workers and that’s really where I get my satisfaction,” Coach Eric Welte said. He has been the head coach for girls golf for six years and was assisting both boys and girls golf for 12.

The team has been practicing relentlessly, some even taking extra lessons or practicing with family members to stay focused and driven to break more records- personal or team- and further themselves as well as support each other. 

“I think it’s really cool because we broke our previous record by 21 shots and that is not easy to do at all,” senior Malainey Weimers said. “And it’s going to be hard for the next golf team to break that and I just think that’s really awesome that I was part of it.” 

Weimers started playing competitively when she joined the team in her freshman year, but has been playing with her family her entire life. Weimer’s father is a professional golfer who has been helping her with her swing and chipping every night at Stone Creek.

“Honestly, quarantine hasn’t affected [my game] that much because the golf courses have stayed open throughout the summer and it was one of those big hits people did.” Weimers said. “I will say on the golf course you’re not allowed to pull the pin out, and that really bothers me.”

The girls are practicing year-round, either at Stone Creek’s course or Champion’s, Mon. through Thurs. as a team with individual practice on Fridays. When it gets too cold, they switch to indoor courses and simulators. The official end of their season is Oct. 12, but the girls play as much as they can before having to go inside. 

“I like to see my ball fly when I play; at Miracle Hills, there’s this indoor hitting bay,” Ruge said. “It shows you all your stats, [what] your yardage is. And then you can actually see your physical ball fly which is super nice.”

Summer tournaments in the Nebraska Junior Golf are also a form of extra practice for some girls. NJG had to cut some tournaments due to COVID-19, the awards ceremony, and the number of participants to make it as safe as possible for those participating.

“The girls love those award ceremonies and just the recognition and so that’s been kind of a downer, but we’re honestly just happy to be able to go out and play after being inside for so long,” Welte said.

The team’s goal is to reach and place in Nationals for the first time in school history. With the hard work and dedication they’ve been putting in, they hope to drive their way to a place in MN record books.