Maidens golf heading to State
HELENA – For the first time ever, Ronan will be taking a whole team to the State competition and the Maidens are locked in and ready to tackle the challenge after logging qualifying scores at last week’s Divisional Tournament in Helena. Third-year head coach Matt Olson is beaming at the accomplishments of his young team.
“I’m really pleased with this team,” Olson said. “This is a group of kids that’s really easy to root for and they’ve worked for it. They’ve worked for their success and I’m pretty proud them.”
A top four team score qualifies the team for a State spot, and the Maidens reached that accomplishment with a fourth-place score of 448 — a tough feat, according to Olson, as the West boasts the toughest teams in the state.
Leading the ladies, freshman Brooklyn Olson placed 10th on the Bill Roberts Golf Course with a score of 95, with juniors Lauryn Hales and Kaitlyn Woirhaye also breaking into the top 20. Hales scored a 107 good for 15th and Woirhaye slid into the 18th spot after shooting a 109.
“It’s pretty big for a freshman to have a top 10 finish,” Olson said about his daughter, Brooklyn Olson.
Rounding out the Maidens State team is freshman Teagan Gray, who just sneaked into the top 30, placing 29th at the Divisional Tournament with a score of 137.
For the Chiefs, a lone soldier will take to the State course. Sophomore Fisher Niemeyer shot an 84 in Helena for 11th place and a qualifying spot at the big show.
Though not going to the State competition, as the athletes must place in the top 15 for an individual qualification, freshman Vinny Bird-Webster ranked 22 at Divisionals with a score of 89, just five shots over a qualifying State spot, and Rhett Duffey finished with an 18-hole score of 92 to place 26th.
Though the boys were unable to place a State team this season, Olson is looking to the future of Ronan golf for both the Chiefs and the Maidens to make an impact on the Class B golf scene, as none of the top qualifiers or athletes that just missed the mark are still underclassman.
“These are just great kids; I mean we don’t just root for them because they’re from Ronan; we root for them because they’re great kids,” Olson said. “We’re kind of going to be a powerhouse on both sides next year. As great and exciting and successful as it’s been this year, it’s really going to be a stepping stone to what we are going to be in the future.”
He added, “The nice thing about our girls — and this is really important — we don’t lose any girls to graduation. We’re talking two freshmen and two juniors that (qualified for State), so as good as they did this year, the future’s looking even better.”
The Chiefs will also have extra leadership with Tanner Olson, who will be a senior next year.
The Maidens, along with Niemeyer, will begin the State battle with a two-day event starting Tuesday, May 12. The girl’s showdown will be held at the Pryor Creek Golf Course in Huntley Project while the boys will compete at Eagle Rock in Shepherd.
Team scores - Townsend 329; Manhattan 339; Bigfork 342; Thompson Falls 346; Loyola-Sacred Heart 347; Deer Lodge 351; Three Forks 353; Boulder 362; Ronan 363; Big Timber 367; Eureka, 395
Team scores - Loyola Sacred Heart 364; Townsend 366; Three Forks 375; Ronan 448; Thompson Falls 497; Big Timber 523; Eureka 576