Fall finale: DSU wraps up season at conference championship
MEDORA — Golfers didn't need the rain jackets they donned Monday for the second round of the North Star Athletic Association Championships. The rain held off at Bully Pulpit Golf Course on Tuesday, but the Badlands-surrounded course still proved challenging.
Dickinson State freshman Riley Helmick shot a 99 on the first day, but Tuesday, she cut her strokes down to an 83, giving her an overall score of 182, good for 14th place overall.
In their final showing of fall competition, the women's golf team placed fifth amongst six teams with a team score of 759, while the men's team placed sixth with 670. The women's team improved its team score by 103 strokes compared to their last appearance at Bully Pulpit last spring.
"She really bounced back really well," head coach Thadd O'Donnell said of Helmick. "She has the capability of scoring really well. This is her first year in the program. The more she's around the more comfortable she's going to get."
Jaret Lee led the men's team with an 81 on Monday and an 83 Tuesday for a total of 164. The sophomore tied for 23rd overall.
"Jaret is one that the maturity plays a good part in it," O'Donnell said. "He can hit the ball a mile, but sometimes the right choice is not to do that. It's to play to a yardage that you're going to be real accurate at. ... When he learns and accepts that there's a difference between competing and playing, his scores will go down."
University of Jamestown's Zach Gomez, Nathan Kapaun and Jacob Rice rounded out the top three for the men's competition, earning Jamestown the win with a combined score of 588.
The Jimmies won the women's side as well, defeating Viterbo University by four strokes with a team total of 672. Annie Nelson of Jamestown took home first for the women. The Blue Hawks see Jamestown regularly, but haven't seen most of their conference competitors all fall.
"I don't think it really matters who you play with," Lee said. "It's really all in your head. It's all about what you can play with. It's not like anybody we really play with is out of our league."
Junior Aimee Kittilson led the Blue Hawk women after the first day with 90 strokes and added three more to her score Tuesday for a total of 183, earning her 16th overall.
"She's a local kid so she knows the area real well," O'Donnell said. "She's older, a transfer from Bismarck State. She's acclimated to this region. For her, it's just playing within herself and not getting frustrated."
Between the poor weather conditions on Monday, and a few balls dropping into the trees, Kittilson dealt with frustration throughout the competition.
"My second shots were just not in the direction they were supposed to be going," the Killdeer native said. "I didn't have any trouble finding the fairway today but just my second shots and my putting were what let me down today."
The teams will spend the winter in the weight room and golfing with a simulator to prepare for spring golf, which begins in April.
"Individually I think we did a really good job," O'Donnell said. "We're moving in the right direction. A team that takes 103 strokes off a performance a year ago shows you're going in the right direction. Although, we do have a ways to go."
North Star Athletic Association Championship
At Bully Pulpit Golf Course, Medora
Men's team scores: 1, University of Jamestown, 588. 2, Bellevue University, 607. 3, Viterbo University, 610. 4, Valley City State, 625. 5, Waldorf University, 641. 6, Dickinson State, 670.
Individual top 10: 1, Zach Gomez, Jamestown, 142. 2, Nathan Kapaun, Jamestown, 146. 3, Jacob Rice, Jamestown, 148. 4 (tie), Fernando Arzate, Bellevue, 149. 4 (tie), Andre Becerra, Bellevue, 149. 6, Jeremie Pasitney, Valley City State, 151. 7 (tie), Joel Preeshl, Viterbo, 152. 7 (tie), Drew Schroeder, Viterbo, 152. 9 (tie), Juan Gomez, Bellevue, 153. 9 (tie), Nick Anderson, Viterbo, 155.
Other Dickinson finishers: 23 (tie), Jaret Lee, 164. 26, Carter Klein, 165. 28, Parker Robinson, 171. 29, Zach Miller, 174. 30, Dave Pokorny, 182.
Women's team scores: 1, University of Jamestown, 672. 2, Viterbo University, 676. 3, Bellevue University, 684. 4, Waldorf University, 723. 5, Dickinson State, 759. 6, Valley City State, 843.
Individual top 10: 1, Annie Nelson, Jamestown, 149. 2, Danielle Ducklow, Viterbo, 157. 3, Faustina Peve, Bellevue, 163. 4, Bailey Schmidt, Viterbo, 166. 5, Savanna Nesemeier, Jamestown, 169. 6 (tie), Nicole Misner, Waldorf, 170. 6 (tie), Mattie Mahlum, Viterbo, 170. 8, Kim Moore, Bellevue, 172. 9, Madison Brooks, Bellevue, 174. 10 (tie), Morgan Hazzard, Bellevue, 175. 10 (tie), Jenna Knutson, Jamestown, 175.
Other Dickinson finishers: 14 (tie), Riley Helmick, 182. 16 (tie), Aimee Kittleson, 183. 20, Breilyn Riggin 189. 25 (tie), Jace Steier, 207. 25 (tie), Natalee Hafer, 207.