Kraft captures historic 3rd straight title

JAMESTOWN -- When it comes to state tournaments, Jamestown senior Laura Kraft has seen just about everything. But on Tuesday, the two-time defending state champion did something neither she, nor the entire state of North Dakota, had ever witnesse...

Dickinson freshman Rachel Jahner
Photo by John M. Steiner/The Jamestown Sun/Forum Communications Co. Dickinson freshman Rachel Jahner watches her drive during the second round of the Class A girls golf state tournament on Tuesday at the Jamestown Country Club.

JAMESTOWN -- When it comes to state tournaments, Jamestown senior Laura Kraft has seen just about everything.

But on Tuesday, the two-time defending state champion did something neither she, nor the entire state of North Dakota, had ever witnessed.

Kraft drained a two-foot par putt on the 18th hole at Jamestown Country Club to become the first-ever three-time Class A state girls' golf champion after fighting off a charging Sarah Storandt of Fargo Shanley down the stretch.

"There was definitely some excitement and adrenaline going," Kraft said. "Knowing that there is not much left between me and making history was really, really exciting."

Kraft, who will play women's golf at the University of Missouri next year, shot three strokes worse than she did in the opening round, but her five-stroke cushion entering the day paid off. She finished the tournament with a two-day score of 147, shooting par with a 72 on Monday and carding a 75 on Tuesday.


"It was agony on the golf course to watch it," said Jamestown coach and Laura's father, Dean Kraft. "It was pretty much just her out there. She kind of shoed me away and took care of business herself. It's a great accomplishment. ... You kind of hope there are girls that look at that and say, 'I want to do that someday.'"

Bismarck Century shot the lowest team score for the second day in a row to walk away with the team title.

"When you pour your heart and soul into something, like we all have for four or five years, you always want the end result to be on top," said Patriots coach Lynn Gress. "It means a lot."

The Patriots, comprised entirely of seniors, nipped Minot High by three strokes, 674 to 677.

Dickinson finished fourth with a two-day total of 711. The Midgets were five strokes worse than they were Monday, finishing with a 358.

"We were pretty happy with that," Dickinson coach Olivia Wellenstein said.

The Midgets had two all-state selections. Freshman Rachel Jahner finished in a tie for sixth with an 83-86-169 while senior Jenna Wellenstein was eighth at 84-87-171.

Every Dickinson golfer was under 100 in the final round.


"It was a good day for us all around," Olivia Wellenstein said.

But not as good as it was for Laura Kraft.

Kraft clung to a five-stroke lead at the turn after shooting an even-par 36 on the front nine, but she hit a bit of a speed bump on her next two holes.

The West Region champion pulled her drives on both the 10th and 11th holes, which eventually led to back-to-back bogeys, but a par on No. 12 and a birdie on No. 13 got her back on track.

"I was just telling myself to think of it as every other tournament," Laura Kraft said. "I just had to take a deep breathe and just keep going."

Storandt matched Laura Kraft's 36 on the front nine, but jumped out with three straight pars on the back, to cut the lead to three strokes.

The Shanley senior got within two strokes of Laura Kraft and was the final-round leader with a 73. But Kraft wasn't about to let the opportunity to make history slip through her fingers.

"Coming into today, I realized that Sarah (Storandt) was not going to back down," Laura Kraft said. "Sarah is a great player and I have to give her a lot of credit."


The third and final state title for Kraft capped off perhaps the greatest high school girls' golf career in state history, but Kraft said it hasn't really hit her yet.

"I think about a week from now I'm going to start bawling in my house, but right now it's really just kind of a sigh of relief," Laura Kraft said. "I'm very happy with how things turned out."

Century had four players finish in the top 11, including Alexa Dvorak who finished with a team-best score of 160, which was good enough to finish in a tie for fourth.

Class A State Golf Tournament

At Jamestown Country Club

Par 72

Team scores: 1, Bismarck Century 338-336-674. 2, Minot 340-337-677. 3, Fargo Shanley 346-340-686. 4, Dickinson 353-358-711. 5, Fargo Davies 364-362-726. 6, Grand Forks Red River 378-366-744. 7, Jamestown 384-372-756. 8, West Fargo 391-381-772. 9, Fargo North 392-383-775. 10, Williston 394-388-782. 11, Fargo South 406-407-813. 12, Mandan 420-409-829. 13, Grand Forks Central 414-430-844.

Individual scores: 1, Laura Kraft, Jamestown, 72-75-147. 2, Sarah Storandt, Shanley, 77-73-150. 3, Emma Kusick, Minot, 79-76-155. 4 (tie), Alexa Dvorak, Century, 79-81-160. Danielle Foster, Minot, 79-81-160. 6 (tie), Rachel Jahner, Dickinson, 83-86-169. McKenzie McMillan, Century, 82-87-169. 8, Jenna Wellenstein, Dickinson, 84-87-171. 9 (tie), Haley Thomas, Shanley, 87-86-173. Adrianna Harris, Century, 88-85-173.

11 (tie), Anna Helmers, Mandan, 86-88-174. Krissy Aasen, Century, 89-85-174. 13, Jennifer Marsh, Davies, 88-87-175. 14, JoDee Wheeler, Red River, 90-86-176. 15, Ashley Bixby, West Fargo, 89-89-178. 16 (tie), Liz Strom, Shanley, 89-80-179; Brooklyn Bender, Minot, 87-92-179. 18, Kathleen Marsh, Davies, 88-92-180. 19 (tie), Allyson Meyer, Davies, 90-91-181; Kayla Barke, Williston, 91-90-181; Megan Larson, Century, 95-86-181.

22, Savonnah Haselhorst, Wahpeton, 88-94-182. 23 (tie), Haili Duchscherer, Minot, 95-88-183; Katie Nelson, Shanley, 95-85-183. 26 (tie), Morgan Kathrein, Dickinson, 95-91-186; Callah Nelson, North, 97-89-186. 28 (tie), Riana Cooper, Dickinson, 91-96-187; Ashley Knecht, Red River, 92-95-187; Maggi Ferry, Red River, 96-91-187. 31, Cassidy St. Germain, South, 91-97-188. 32, Madison Gemar, Davies, 96-92-190. 33, Lexi Lennon, West Fargo, 100-91-191. 34, Becky Martin, GFC, 95-98-193. 35 (tie), Dani Yon, Dickinson, 100-94-194; Cari Zavalney, Williston, 99-95-194; Lauren Johnson, West Fargo, 98-95-194. 38, Addie Long, North, 100-95-195. 39, Brittany Lingbeck, North, 98-98-196.

40, Maria LeFevre, JHS, 98-99-197. 41, Alexis Caoili, Red River, 100-98-198. 42 (tie), Abby Holmen, Red River, 105-94-199; Sierra Bennion, JHS, 106-93-199. 44 (tie), Hannah Ohm, North, 97-103-200; Taylor Lund, GFC, 101-99-200; Caremella Johnson, Minot, 102-98-200. 47 (tie), Keely Spiess, North, 100-101-201; Bailey Gemar, Davies, 105-96-201. 49 (tie), Courtney Kosir, South, 100-102-202; Abby Wilt, Williston, 103-99-202. 51 (tie), Kira Haag, Dickinson, 104-99-203; Breanna Benjamin, Minot, 102-101-203. 53, Nicole Carew, Shanley, 102-103-205. 54 (tie), Cali Halverson, Red River, 104-104-208; Sydnie Mongeon, Mandan, 107-101-208. 56 (tie), Lexi Wasem, West Fargo, 104-105-209; Mandy Boyle, Shanley, 108-101-209. 58, Anna Peterson, Williston, 101-109-210. 59 (tie), Alyssa Mangin, 108-105-213; Irelyn Huntley, Williston, 109-104-213.

61, Brittany Rheault, West Fargo, 105-109-214. 62, Katie Unterseher, South, 105-110-215. 63, Laura Olson, South, 113-104-217. 64, Hanna Berg, North, 112-106-218. 65, Mercedes Mata, Mandan, 113-107-220. 66, Shaylee Ferguson, GFC, 109-116-225. 67, Sydney Lund, GFC, 109-117-226. 68 (tie), Chelsey Buth, West Fargo, 116-111-227; Kayla Helbling, Mandan, 114-113-227. 70, Rachel Anderson, Williston, 118-119-237. 71, Abi Lindgren, GFC, 128-120-248. 72, Sarah Deyle, South, 126-124-250. 73 (tie), Lexa Brossart, Davies, 120-131-251; Katie Sigurdson, GFC, 129-122-251. 75, Brianne Hirchert, Mandan, 128-140-268. WD, Kala Senger, Mandan.

Griswold is a sports reporter for The Jamestown Sun, which is owned by Forum Communications Co. Dickinson Press Sports Editor Dustin Monke contributed to this story.

Related Topics: GOLF
What To Read Next
Brantley III sets second all-time record in shot put, Wrzesinski breaks school and North Star record in 60 meter hurdles
Entering the game the Midgets and Blue Jays were tied in the WDA standings, and owing to a clutch performance Dickinson came away with a crowd pleasing win.
Engwitch and Speelmon take home belt buckles in victory at memorial home tourney
Before a packed crowd at home, Dickinson State dominated the Comets going 45% from the floor, grabbing 48 boards and double-digits in assists