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Estlick, Karkela, heading to State

By John George sports@eot.com Two very different perspectives, same result. Holly Karkela was an eighth grader going through the most nerve-wracking experience of her young career. Jenine Estlick was a senior, content with the fact that her high ...

By John George

sports@eot.com

Two very different perspectives, same result.

Holly Karkela was an eighth grader going through the most nerve-wracking experience of her young career. Jenine Estlick was a senior, content with the fact that her high school career was about to end.

Both walked away from Pebble Lake G.C. in Fergus Falls on Tuesday knowing their season, and/or career, weren't over quite yet.

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Estlick was the third individual qualifier from the 6A Section meet with an 87. Karkela finished in a three-way tie for the last two State berths. The top-five individuals not on the championship team advance to the State Class A Meet next week at Izaty's Resort.

Not only did the youngster Karkela have the pressure of a playoff looming, she'd have to sit and think about it as a afternoon storm delayed play for over an hour.

"My heart was beating so fast (as she waited)," Karkela said. "It was so nerve wracking. I couldn't wait to get out there."

Once play resumed, Lexi Aho of Park Rapids parred the first hole, while Karkela and Haley Roberts of Staples-Motley each scored a five. Aho had clinched one of the final two spots.

On the second playoff hole, Karkela put her drive on the green of the par-three hole, while Roberts went in the rough, although she made a nice chip to recover.

Karkela missed her first shot at clinching the final State berth by missing a short putt. She was given a second chance after Roberts rimmed-out her own putt, which would have given her bogey. Karkela then hit her bogey putt to end the playoff.

"Once We got back out there, I was more excited than nervous," Karkela said. "I thought we'd have to play another hole when I Missed that putt, then I got another chance and knew I had to make it."

Estlick, meanwhile, entered Tuesday's round fully expecting it to be her last as a Jacket golfer.

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"There's no way I thought this was possible," the senior said. "I thought the season was over after today. And I was O.K. with that."

But after shooting a 42 on the front nine, she started gaining confidence.

"I was feeling pretty good after that," she said. "I was playing really well against my group and figured I might have a shot."

Now, both will make their first trip to State.

"I just want to have fun," Estlick said. "I'll try to do my best and hopefully I play well."

"I don't think I'll be too nervous," Karkela said. "I just have to have fun and hope for the best."

The girls will be heading to State on their own, as the Jacket girls finished third at the 6A Championship. Defending State Champ, Minnewaska, shot a blistering 298 to win the team title. Staples-Motley was second with a 346, followed by Perham (361) and Osakis (372).

Head coach Cory Solberg told his team after the meet that a 361 is as low as any Jacket team has shot in a long time.

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Nikki Mattfeld, a 2006 State participant, just missed the cut with a 92.

Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal won the 6A boys title, beating Park Christian by eight strokes.

Perham's Nick Dockter finished with an 88, Mike Guehna shot an 89, both out of contention for a State berth.

"Mike shot well on the front nine," boys coach Jeff Tweeton said. "But he ran into trouble as he made the turn to the back. Nick hit the ball well at times, but it just wasn't his day."

Sub-Section

The girls advanced to the 6A Championships by finishing second at the North Sub-Section Meet last Thursday. Staples-Motley won the sub-section title with a 353. Perham shot a 376.

The Jackets were led by Estlick and Leah Richter, who both shot 93's.

The boys finished third at the North Sub-Section Meet. Only the top-two teams advanced to Sections.

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Agassiz Valley won the North title with a 319, followed by H/U-H (321) and Perham (336).

Dockter (80) and Guehna (84) advanced with top-10 scores. Alex Phelps just missed with an 85.

State Meet

The Class A State Meet will be held at Izaty's Resort in Onamia on June 6-7. The girls will tee-off both days at 8:30 a.m. on The Sanctuary Course. The boys will play the Black Brook Course and tee-off at 8:35 both days. Tee-times are available at mshsl.org.

Thursday, May 24

6A North Sub-Section Meet

at Pebble Lake G.C. (Fergus Falls)

Girls Team Scores

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(Top-2 Teams and Top-10 Individuals not on the top 2 teams advance to Sections)

1. Staples-Motley 353, 2. Perham 376, 3. Pequot Lakes 405, 4. Agassiz Valley 408, 5. Park Rapids Area 409, 6. Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 411, 7. United North Central 445, 8. Lake Park-Audubon 501.

Medalist: Hailey Roberts (SM) 84.

Perham Individuals: Jenine Estlick 93, Leah Richter 93, Jeanna Kratzke 94, Nikki Mattfeld 96, Holly Karkela 96, Abby Huebsch 105.

Boys Team Scores

(Top-2 Teams and Top-10 Individuals not on the top 2 teams advance to Sections)

1. Agassiz Valley 319, 2. Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 321, 3. Perham 336, 4. Staples-Motley 338, 5. Pine River-Backus 341, 6. Nevis 345, 7. Pequot Lakes 346, 8. Park Rapids Area 346, 9. Wadena-Deer Creek 353, 10. D-G-F 355, 11. Frazee 357, 12. United North Central 389, 13. Lake Park-Audubon 396.

Medalist: Adderly Hoag (HUH) 72.

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Perham Individuals: Nick Dockter 80, Mike Guehna 84, Alex Phelps 85, Dan Cavanagh 87, Barry Nelson 89, Zach Phelps 92.

Individual Section Qualifiers

Taylor Schroeder (Nevis) 75, Tucker Sheley (PL) 78, Justin Borchart (PR) 79, Nick Dockter (PER) 80, Zach Israelson (SM) 81, Ben Kline (PRB) 82, Chris Clark (DGF) 83, Matt Kramer (WDC) 84, Mike Guehna (PER) 84, Tanner Johnson (PRB) 84.

Tuesday, May 29

Section 6A Championship

at Pebble Lake G.C. (Fergus Falls)

(Top team and Top-5 Individuals not the the winning team advance to State)

Girls Team Scores

1. Minnewaska 298, 2. Staples-Motley 346, 3. Perham 361, 4. Osakis 372.

Medalist: Emily Roering (M) 72.

State Qualifiers: Cydney Hasselberg (SM) 79, Sarah Peterson (O) 80, Jenine Estlick (P) 87, Lexi Aho (Park Rapids) 88, Holly Karkela (P) 88.

Perham Individuals: Mattfeld 92, Huebsch 94, Richter 98, Kratzke 100.

Boys Team Scores

1. Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 314, 2. Park Christian 334, 3. Agassiz Valley 334, 4. Minnewaska 342.

Medalist: Blair Gilberts (HUH) 76.

State Qualifiers: Chris Clark (DGF) 76, Ryan Wagner (Osakis) 77, Taylor Schroeder (Nevis) 77, Taylor Frank (Battle Lake) 77, Pierce Peters (Minn) 77.

Perham Individuals: Dockter 88, Guehna 89.

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