Jahner, Cooper leading Midgets into Class A girls golf state tournamentThe Dickinson High girls golf team is in an unfair, but not uncommon, situation. The Midgets have been without a senior all season.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson High girls golf team is in an unfair, but not uncommon, situation.
The Midgets have been without a senior all season.
“Riana (Cooper) and I are kind of the older golfers on the team,” Dickinson junior Rachel Jahner said. “The younger girls come out here and practice just as hard as we do. We set that example for them and they’ve gotten a lot better.”
The Midgets are led by the two outstanding juniors — Jahner and Cooper — that are both looking for a top-five finish at the two-day Class A state tournament that begins at 9 a.m. Monday at Prairie West Golf Course in Mandan.
“They’ve been working really hard,” Dickinson head coach Sara Berglund said. “Rachel is playing especially well right now. She’s peaking at the right time. She has the confidence going into the tournament.”
Jahner has a reason to be confident. She is coming off a 75-stroke medalist performance at the West Region Tournament at Prairie West. The junior from Dickinson Trinity ranks first in the West with a 79.4 scoring average.
“I played really well (last) Monday,” Jahner said. “I putted really well, so I’m hoping it’s the same this week. It’s going to be a lot harder with the girls from the East, because it’s anybody’s game.”
Cooper, on the other hand, wasn’t pleased with her performance at region tournament. The Dickinson High junior finished in a tie for seventh with an 87 and is fourth in the West with an 82.4 scoring average.
“We should probably think of it as just another two days at Prairie West,” Cooper said. “I definitely have to get used to the greens and my putting needs to be better.”
This will be the Midgets’ third time playing at Prairie West this season. Jahner is excited to get back on the course and enjoys the quickness of the greens.
“Every time that I’ve played there, I’ve improved my score,” Jahner said. “I’m hoping to do the best I can. The greens are really fast there and I like fast greens.”
Jahner, Cooper and Berglund were all raving about the progression from the three through six golfers. Sophomore Rachel Lantz, who was battled the 100-mark all season, shot a 97 at the West Region Tournament.
“The three through six spots has really improved since the beginning of the season,” Berglund said. “It’s exciting to see what’s going to happen. You never know and hopefully they are able to continue to play well, especially on Monday and Tuesday.”
The silver lining Berglund sees in a lack of seniors is a majority of the underclassmen gained a solid amount of tournament experience this year. The Midgets’ four through six golfers are junior Kelsey Yon, freshman Katherine Kessel and seventh-grader Sydney Charchenko.
“A lot of our younger girls got great experience this year,” Berglund said. “They got to play in a ton of tournaments. We have a lot to look forward to.”
The lone tournament in which the Midgets faced teams from the East was during the two-day East-West Classic in Jamestown on Aug. 13 to 14. It was the first tournament of the season.
Jahner finished in fourth place, five strokes behind medalist Kathleen Marsh of Fargo Davies.
“It really makes it exciting, because you know the scores are going to be close,” Jahner said. “Instead of the medalist winning a lot, it’s going to come down to whoever puts the best two days together.”