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North Union girls golfers 3rd at 1st round of regional

CHIPPING ON — North Union golfer Vanessa Von Bank sprays sand while chipping her ball out of a trap on the 18th hole at Rice Lake Golf & Country Club during Iowa Class 1A, Region 3 first-round action Monday in Lake Mills. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The North Union Warriors pressed the Bishop Garrigan Golden Bears right down to the final hole during the Top of Iowa Conference’s West Division girls golf meet at Garner Golf & Country Club exactly one week ago.

North Union shattered its own 18-hole team school record established earlier in the regular season with a divisional runner-up score of 360 — only 11 strokes behind West champion Garrigan.

Unfortunately for the low-scoring Warriors, a change in venue, 20 mph southeast winds and a seven-day layoff impacted their run at qualifying for the Iowa Class 1A, Region 3 championship round for the second time in the last three springs.

“I figured we’d have to post four rounds in the low 90s today to advance to the next round of the regional,” North Union head coach Carole Bernhard said in reference to the top two teams and six lowest individual golfers qualifying for next Monday’s 10 a.m. Region 3 finale at the Mason City Country Club. “Newman Catholic was right there with us statistically coming into today, and they got us by seven strokes to move on.”

Garrigan coasted to a first-place team triumph in first-round regional play by shooting five of the top six individual rounds en route to a total of 345, while Newman Catholic penciled in a 394 to squeeze by North Union’s third-place mark of 403.

Ironically, the Golden Bears found the Rice Lake Golf & Country Club’s par-71 course to their liking, trimming four shots off of its winning pace at Garner, Iowa.

Kelly Baade, who placed eighth overall during last Monday’s divisional meet with a 93, produced a first-place total of 83 to place first for Garrigan, while teammates Annie Burns and Anna Berke turned in a pair of 84s to round out the top three showings at Monday’s regional. Burns edged North Union senior Halle Rezac — 83-84 — for top medalist honors at last week’s divisional, while Berke claimed the bronze medal with an 85 seven days earlier.

Newman’s Emma Weiner prevented an all-Garrigan top five by garnering fourth overall with a 92, while the Golden Bears’ Ava Eisenbarth and Avery Lichter each fired 94s to individually advance to next Monday’s Region 3 championship meet.

Senior Vanessa Von Bank carded North Union’s only sub-100 score with a round of 98 to share eighth place individually during Monday’s first round of regionals, while sophomore and younger sibling Olivia Von Bank penciled in an even 100 to net a tie for 10th place overall.

Senior Halle Rezac pocketed 12th place overall for the Warriors by shooting only one stroke off of Olivia Von Bank’s pace with a 101, while senior Jordyn Cummins rounded out North Union’s counting marks with a 104 to take 15th place individually.

Senior Carys Fuller and freshman Amelia Fothergill completed North Union’s performance by shooting a 110 for 19th place and a 111 to share 20th overall, respectively.

Rezac (84) and Cummins (86) eclipsed the 90-shot plateau during last week’s divisional, while Olivia Von Bank (94), Vanessa Von Bank (96) and Fothergill (99) each went under the century mark. Fuller proved the lone Warrior to improve upon her total from a week ago — 109-115.

“The girls went low and broke the school record last Monday, but they all ran into tough luck at the same time today,” said Warriors’ assistant coach Jack Von Bank. “Unfortunately, that’s the way this game goes sometimes.”

“We really thought we had a good chance to get back to the regional finals again after tying Alta-Aurelia for second place in 2019 and then not qualifying for state due to a fifth-score tiebreaker on paper,” said Vanessa Von Bank, who carded a school-record regional round of 97 — along with Kayla Sabin — two years ago to pace the Warriors’ Day 2 regional total of 392 in Britt, Iowa.

Rezac fired a 98, Cummins produced a 100 and Fuller added a 114 for North Union during the 2019 Region 3 championship meet.

“These four seniors have been great to coach and have done a lot for this program,” said Bernhard. “They will be missed.”

Iowa Class 1A, Region 3

1st-Round Golf Meet

Team Results (Top 2 advance to regional championship): 1. Bishop Garrigan 345; 2. Newman Catholic 394; 3. North Union 403; 4. Lake Mills 436; 5. Northwood-Kensett 463; 6. West Fork 478; 7. North Iowa 505; 8. Rockford 560.

Individual Results (Top 6 advance to regional championship): 1. Kelly Baade (Garrigan) 83; 2. (via paper tiebreaker) Annie Burns (Garrigan) 84; 3. Anna Berke (Garrigan) 84; 4. Emma Weiner (Newman) 92; 5. (via paper tiebreaker) Ava Eisenbarth (Garrigan) 94; 6. Avery Lichter (Garrigan) 94.

North Union Results: T8. Vanessa Von Bank 98; T10. Olivia Von Bank 100; 12. Halle Rezac 101; 15. Jordyn Cummins 104; 19. Carys Fuller 110; T20. Amelia Fothergill 111.

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