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Cass Lake-Bena's Aitken strives for family

Ann Aitken has an eye on the future when talking about her high school accomplishments.

"Many of the things I have done in my high school career I did for my family and my little sister, 6-year-old Josie," said Aitken, who just graduated from Cass Lake-Bena.

"I want to show Josie that she can accomplish anything she wants in life if she puts her mind to it."

Aitken's most recent accomplishment occurred Tuesday at the Bemidji Town & Country Club when she qualified for the Class A state golf tournament for the third consecutive spring.

Aitken carded a 99 and tied for third among the golfers not on Fosston's team. Fosston captured the team championship and all of its golfers earned berths at state.

Jill Quaderer of CL-B came up short in her state tournament bid as she shot 104 at Tuesday's section meet.

Aitken is the first Panther to make it to state three straight years. The only other CL-B girls golfer to qualify on consecutive seasons was Jeannine Gibson who accomplished the feat in 1983-84.

Cass Lake-Bena will also be represented at the boys state tournament. Dakotah Brunelle shot 79 and was the 8A medalist Tuesday and Cody Wind fired an 82 to finish fourth among the golfers who were not members of Climax-Fisher which won the 8A team championship.

As a team CL-B placed third in the four-team section meet. Climax-Fisher won with 356, Stephen-Argyle was second at 358 and Cass Lake-Bena placed third with 359. Trailing the field was Red Lake County at 372.

Aitken said the difficult part of the season is now past and she plans on enjoying the state tournament experience.

"I have learned that the pressure you feel is getting to state," Aitken said. "Now the pressure is off because no matter how I do at state my family and my town will be proud of me."

The Class 8A state tournament will be June 16-17 at Pebble Creek in Becker. As a sophomore Aitken finished 24th and last year she placed 22nd.

"There will be about 85 girls in the field and this year I'm hoping to finish in the teens," Aitken said.

Among those who will be cheering for Aitken is BTCC pro Rick Grand.

"After I qualified for state Rick shook my hand and asked if I remember that he taught me how to play golf when I was a school kid," Aitken said. "Then he congratulated me and told me how proud he was."

Aitken is right. There will be no pressure at state when you have support like that.

Section 8A

Boys Golf Results

At BTCC (par 72)

Team Scores

Climax-Fisher 356*, Stephen-Argyle 358, Cass Lake-Bena 359, Red Lake County 372

*Qualified for state meet as did its individual golfers

Other state qualifiers

Medalist: Dakotah Brunelle (CL-B) 79; 2-Ethan Handricks (SAC) 81, Tanner Conley (WAO) 81; 4-Cody Wind (CL-B) 82; 5-Channng Sandberg (RLC) 84

Girls Golf Results

At BTCC (par 72)

Team Scores

Fosston 364*, Kittson County Central 408, Red Lake County 421, Fertile-Beltrami 460

*Qualified for state meet as did its individual golfers

Other state qualifiers

Medalist: Vanessa Burkel (BGMR) 96; 2-Kailey Youngren (KCC) 97; 3-Ann Aitken (CL-B) 99, Emilie Nelson (WAO) 99, Krista Ingeman (KCC) 99

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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