BRAINERD - With each meet Bemidji girls golf coach Jeff Nelson is able to monitor the progress of his young athletes. And each day at the course he enjoys what he is seeing.
"These kids are getting better at a fast rate," Nelson said. "I think that is typical of a young team."
Friday at The Pines near Brainerd the Lumberjacks continued that improvement as they shot 343 and moved up to third place in the two-day, 16-team meet hosted by Brainerd.
BHS shot 353 Thursday at The Preserve and was in fifth place heading into Friday's final 18 holes. The Jacks followed Thursday's action with Friday's 343 and the 36-hole total of 696 was rewarded with third place in the final standings.
St. Cloud Apollo overtook three teams Friday to claim the overall title with 349-338-687. Placing second Friday was Pequot Lakes which followed Thursday's 333 with Friday's 355 for a two-day total of 688.
Bemidji's 343 on Friday enabled the Lumberjacks to pass by Grand Rapids and Brainerd.
"We still made a few mistakes but we are learning to relax," Nelson said. "When you like the game and are coachable, good things can happen and that's what's happening with these kids. It's fun to watch the progress."
Katie Sheetz of Grand Rapids was the 36-hole medalist as she shot 76 Thursday and 80 Friday for a 156.
Bemidji's best score was provided by Morgan Miller who followed Thursday's 86 with Friday's 45-39-84 on the par-72 Pines layout and finished at 170.
"Morgan had only two putts in her first four holes," Nelson said. "She chipped in twice and had a pair of one-putts."
Also shooting 170 was Katelin Craft (88-82-170) while Morgan Williams finished 88-88-176, Kelsey Isaacson shot 91-89-180, Megan Dondelinger finished 95-91-186 and Savanna Hanson carded rounds of 99-99-198.
"We shot 343 Friday and I don't know if we ever shot that low last year," Nelson said. "When you have four scores in the 80s and another at 91 you are playing very good golf."
Bemidji returns to the Brainerd area today as the Lumberjacks will play at the Legacy Golf Course in a tournament hosted by Staples.
(First round Thursday at The Preserve, second round Friday at The Pines)
St. Cloud Apollo 349-338-687, Pequot Lakes 333-355-688, Bemidji 353-343-696, Grand Rapids 342-362-704, Brainerd 348-375-723, International Falls 357-379-736, Monticello 390-354-741, Hermantown 382-368-750, Staples 396-382-778, Moorhead 394-399-793, Park Rapids 390-411-801, Duluth East 393-412-805, Fergus Falls 392-413-805, Sartell 393-422-815, Park Center 428-446-974, Crosby incomplete
Medalist: Sheetz (GR) 76-80-156
Bemidji's results: Miller 86-84-170, Craft 88-82-170, Williams 88-88-176, Isaacson 91-89-180, Dondelinger 95-91-186, Hanson 99-99-198