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Golf: Woodbury sends three, East Ridge sends two to state championships

Woodbury's Carter Spalding finished in the top five at sections to advance to state for individuals. Spalding finished one over par in the two days at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids on Monday, June 3. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 5
Kyra Venne from East Ridge will be heading to state after recording 23-over-par on Monday, June 3 at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 5
Justin Luan from East Ridge advanced to the state tournament on Monday, June 3, at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. He finished 7-over-par over the two days. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 5
Carter Spalding gives a fist pump after draining a long putt. The Woodbury golfer advanced to state after finishing one over par on Monday, June 3 at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
Aayushi Sarkar finished 10 over par in the two days at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids on Monday, June 3. The Woodbury junior advanced to the state tournament with her individual score. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 5 / 5

It was another beautiful day on the golf course as many golfers came back for day two of the section tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids.

On Monday, East Ridge and Woodbury sent a total of five individual golfers to the state tournament.

On Day 2, the Woodbury and East Ridge boys' teams, along with the Woodbury girls' team, were still competing for the one team spot at state. All three teams had some work to do to reach that goal, but it wasn't an impossible task.

"I couldn't be more proud of this team and what they've been able to accomplish this season," said Woodbury boys head coach Shawn Mahady. "It's been fun to watch each week."

All three teams battled until the last hole, but the St. Thomas Academy boys and Simley girls each earned the top spots for teams.

It was a tight race between Simley and defending champion Woodbury on Monday afternoon, so when the score showed the Royals eight strokes off from Simley, the girls were sad and disappointed.

"It was a battle that came down to a few strokes and Simley came out on top," said Woodbury girls' head coach Bryan Orlenko. "Our girls played a couple great rounds of golf on Friday and Monday and I'm so proud of how they finished this season."

The same happened to the Woodbury boys' team as the Royals finished in second place. They were 16 strokes behind the Cadets, while East Ridge was five strokes behind Woodbury to place third as a team.

The Royals were able to qualify two boys and one girl to the state tournament next week. Parker Sands and Carter Spalding, both seventh graders, finished in the top five for boys and it was an exciting feeling for the duo.

"I'm just excited to go to state with Carter, since we're friends and have been golfing together for a while," Sands said. "I think we're both ready for next week and look forward to playing some great golfers."

Sands shot 3-over-par throughout the two days, while Spalding shot 1 over. Those scores looked strong, but the duo has been consistently shooting those numbers throughout the year. Mahady was proud of them for reaching state and couldn't wait to see what next week has in store for the both of them.

"This was one of our goals to start the season," Spalding said. "We wanted to go as a team, but we're excited to represent Woodbury there next week."

Aayushi Sarkar had mixed emotions when she earned a spot in individuals with her 10-over-par performance in the two days. There was a part of her that was happy to reach the state tournament again, but another part wishes that she could've gone with her team.

"I'm going to be playing these individuals this year for us as a team," Sarkar said. "It's going to be hard to be there by myself, but I'm playing next week for my team."

East Ridge also had a memorable day as the Raptors sent one boy and one girl to the state tournament for individuals.

Justin Luan kept going in and out on day two for individual qualification because it was a neck-and-neck day between him and a couple other golfers. Luan was able to come out on top after shooting 7-over-par over two rounds.

"I know the course well after playing on here the last couple of days, so I'm happy to be coming back next week," Luan said. "It's been a fun season with this group of golfers and they've taught me many things throughout the year."

It was a tight finish for Kyra Venne on the girls' side as well, but the Raptor was able to come back in the back nine to earn a spot in the individual standings. She shot 23-over-par and it was due to her back nine where she shot a 2-over-par to keep that close lead.

"I'm just really excited to have the opportunity to play next week," Venne said. "It's been a roller coaster of a couple of days, but I'm just glad I made the top five. It should be a fun week of golf next week."

All five of these golfers will be heading back to Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids on Tuesday, June 11 for the first day of state golf. The boys will be teeing off early in the morning, while the girls start in the afternoon.

The second day of state golf will take place at the same place on Wednesday, June 12.

Brian Mozey

I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position. 

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