Grand Forks Red River leads golf state tournament
GRAND FORKS -- Grand Forks Red River hasn't won a girls golf meet this spring. Ashley Bixby has shared top scores, but she's yet to win an outright individual championship.
But, after the opening day of the North Dakota Class A girls high school golf meet, the Roughriders and the West Fargo senior both are sitting on top.
Red River holds a narrow lead going into Tuesday's final round at Grand Forks Country Club. The Roughriders shot a 351. Fargo North and defending state champion Fargo Davies are two strokes back at 353. Also shooting sub-360 scores were Bismarck Century (357) and West Fargo (358).
Bixby shot a 74, two strokes ahead of Kathleen Marsh of Fargo Davies and Annie Nelson of Bismarck Century.
"It just shows that anything can happen at tournament time," Red River coach Ann Arnason said of her team's lead after one day.
"We're only halfway there (to the finish). We can't get too excited. But this is what we've been shooting for all year -- four good scores with that low score right around 80."
Casey DeBeltz paces the Roughriders. Her 80 is tied for fifth place. The senior, the No. 1 golfer for the Riders all season, had a previous best round of 83 this season. Rounding out Red River's four scorers were Morgan Hetletved (87), Alexis Caoili (92) and Hilary Whalen (92). The 351 matched Red River's low round of the season.
"Casey's always been leading us," Arnason said. "Today she got herself in a zone. It's all coming together for her at the right time. It's great to see. She's worked hard."
Bixby, who finished third in the East Region in average (80.4), matched her low round of the season to take her two-stroke lead.
"I knew I could shoot like this," Bixby said. "But lately my game has been in a bit of a funk. I haven't played as well as I feel I'm capable. But it just felt right today."
Bixby had a 40 on the front nine, but closed strong with a 34. She had four birdies -- one on the front nine and three, including the 17th and 18 holes, on the final nine.
"That 40 gave me a little motivation," Bixby said. "There are a lot of good players. A 40 wasn't going to cut it. I was a little more focused after that."
Bixby, who placed seventh at state last season, will be vying for a title against a veteran field.
Other top-eight finishers from a year ago include Nelson (tied for eighth last season), Kathleen Marsh (third last season), Dickinson's Rachel Jahner (fourth at 79, runner-up last season), Davies' Jennifer Marsh (tied for fifth at 80, sixth last season) and Jamestown's Sierra Bennion (tied for fifth at 80, tied for fourth last season).
Dickinson senior Riana Cooper is in a five-way tie for fifth place after shooting an 80. As a team, the Midgets are in sixth place with a 362.
"It was a beautiful day for golf," Dickinson head coach Sara Berglund said. "The course is really nice, but it is tough. I was very pleased with where we are sitting at right now. Both Rachel and Riana put them in a great spot for (today). Anything can happen. There are still a lot of holes to play. I'm really excited for (today)."
North Dakota Class A state golf tournament
At Grand Forks Country Club
Team scores: GF Red River 351, Fargo Davies 353, Fargo North 353, Bismarck Century 357, West Fargo 358, Dickinson 362, Fargo Shanley 363, Jamestown 364, Bismarck High 366, Minot 368, Wahpeton 370, Mandan 391, GF Central 398
Individual top 10: 1. Ashley Bixby, West Fargo, 74; 2. (tie) Annie Nelson, Bismarck Century, and Kathleen Marsh, Fargo Davies, 76; 4. Rachel Jahner, Dickinson, 79; 5. (tie) Katie Kasper, Bismarck, Jennifer Marsh, Davies, Riana Cooper, Dickinson, Sierra Bennion, Jamestown, and Casey DeBeltz, Red River, 80; 10. Jessica Vig, Fargo Shanley, 82
GF Red River (351): Casey DeBeltz 80, Morgan Hetletved 87, Alexis Caoili 92, Hilary Whalen 92, Betsy Seaver 93, Samantha DeBeltz 108
Fargo Davies (353): Kathleen Marsh 76, Jennifer Marsh 80, Anna Davison 98, Amber Kosir 99, Lexa Brossart 103, Jenna Forknell 107
Fargo North (353): Abby Sklebar 84, Keely Spiess 88, Addie Long 90, Hanna Berg 91, Kally Kvidera 96, Kenzie Jenson 100
Bismarck Century (357): Annie Nelson 76, Alexis Blazek 93, Sydney Smith 94, Kayla Smith 94, Lauren Fleming 101, Grace Doppler 101
West Fargo (358): Ashley Bixby 74, Ashley Peterson 91, Sierra Peterson 95, Brittany Rheault 98, Kennedy Kraft 104, Katie Froemke 106
Dickinson (362): Rachel Jahner 79, Riana Cooper 80, Rachel Lantz 101, Kelsey Yon 102, Katherine Kessel 106, Sydney Charchenko 112
Fargo Shanley (363): Jessica Vig 82, Payton Thimjon 92, Hannah Ohm 94, Marcela Hanson 95, Abby Armstrong 96, Aly Corbid 99
Jamestown (364): Sierra Bennion 80, Kaitlin Mullowney 93, Maria LeFevre 95, Sarah Azure 96, Mara LeFevre 106, Savannah Kramlich 115
Bismarck (366): Katie Kasper 80, Taylor Miller 92, Gretta Gilje 97, Irelyn Huntley 97, Kylie Bergan 102, Carissa Craven 104
Minot (368): McKinley Bender 88, Paige Argent 89, Evie Reynolds 92, Hallie Williamson 99, Makensy Arlien 99, Marley Foltz 115
Wahpeton (370): Leslie Hibl 86, Savonnah Haselhorst 88, Kelsey Darwin 94, Emma Rubish 102, Jessica DeVillers 105, Laken Breuer 107
Mandan (391): Kayla Helbling 93, Sydnie Mongeon 95, KayCee Schulz 99, Megan Broeckel 104, Cortnie Mongeon 110, Micaela Higlin 116
GF Central (398): Sami Marshall 93, Frankie Good 96, Shaylee Ferguson 100, Jordan Reiter 109, Alizjah Swenson 110, Sadie McGee 133
Devils Lake: Mallory Voss 114
Fargo South: Emily Grothmannn 94