ESCANABA - The Escanaba Eskymos girls and boys golf teams represented their home course Thursday, claiming first and second place respectively at the Northen Michigan Bank Golf Invite.
Norway put together a very strong performance, claiming the top spot for the boys with a team score of 337. No. 3 golfer Austin Hansen was medalist, finishing with a 77.
"It's my first win ever, and I'm pretty happy about that, especially playing against the big guys today," Hansen said. "We were projected to have a pretty good team this year. Our ultimate goal is to win for our senior (Mike Zygiel). Hopefully, we'll do that. As a team effort, I think we're going to be good for two or three more years."
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
The Escanaba girls golf team poses with their trophy after claiming first place at the Escanaba Invitational, Thursday, at the Escanaba Country Club. From left, Abbey Strom, Payton Shelafoe, Kelsey Motto, Jalyn Dagenais, and Amanda Bink.
The Gladstone Braves grabbed third place with a score of 343.
Knights coach Tony Zygiel said that considering his team hasn't had much practice, he's very pleased with the way they are scoring.
"We can only hope to get better, but this is a good meet for us," he said. "I'm really happy with the way they played."
Norway (337) - Hansen 77, Kelly 83, Anderson 87, Zygiel 90, Gregg 102.
Escanaba (341) - Gauthier 83, Casperson 85, Laviolette 85, Aird 88, Fournier 89.
Gladstone (343) - Lasecki 79, Dykowski 83, Scheeneman 85, Pouliot 96, Lamberg 98.
Munising (348) - Mahoski 85, Immel 86, Webster 88, Tweedale 89, Mannisto 92.
Marquette (348) - Specker 83, S. Frazier 85, J. Frazier 86, Weber 94, Rochester 101.
Iron Mountain (358) - Blomquist 85, Willman 85, Johnson 91, Ward 97, Opolka 101.
Negaunee (366) - Renaldi 87, Katona 88, Argall 95, Wilber 96, Uren 104.
Menominee (375) - Jersey 92, Modschiedler 93, Hegg 94, Macconx 96, Schewe 97.
Escanaba (405) - Motto 92, Dagenais 102, Shelafoe 104, Strom 107, Bink 128.
Gladstone (432) - Jensen 94, Tardiff 108, Demeuse 109, Pardonnet 121, Cavadeas 129.
Munising (452) - Nottmeier 96, Matson 107, Immel 120, Murray 129, Desjardins 137.
Menominee (463) - Sancier 107, Krah 116, Mathias 119, Barley 121.
Negaunee (553) - Flannery 115, Erva 132, Silvestre 142, Grant 164.
Marquette (NA) - Rochester 85, Anderson 118.
Iron Mountain (NA) - Feira 115, Pirkola 126, Herman 163.
Norway (NA) - Scheski 126, Glanville 131.
Hansen was followed by Ben Lasecki of Gladstone, who earned a 79. Brett Specker of Marquette, Dylan Gauthier of Escanaba, Dave Dykowski of Gladstone, and Bryce Kelly of Norway all tied for third place with a score of 83.
"I've been striking the ball really well lately, and I really like this course," Lasecki said.
The top finisher for the girls was Marquette's Avery Rochester, who scorched the competition once again with a score of 85. The second place finisher was Kelsey Motto of Escanaba, finishing with a 92. Gladstone's Callie Jensen earned a score of 94 for the third place spot.
"This is the kind of golf my girls have been consistently playing," said Eskymos coach Brian Robinette. "They are right around 400 each time we compete, and even on a cold, windy day like today, it's just telling me that they are playing solid golf and the weather and the course isn't going to be an issue. They've set a pretty good standard."
In regards to the boys team, Robinette said he has shifted the lineup a lot since the season started. Each time they compete, he feels they are getting closer and closer to the lineup that will make it to the conference title.
"They are getting a taste of what varsity golf is all about," he said. "I'm trying to close the gap between us and Gladstone, and we beat them for the first time today. That was a positive for sure."
The Braves finished second with 432, and the Munising Mustangs were third with 452.
Gauthier, who is still recuperating from a serious leg injury suffered during hockey season, had a nice round of golf today and continues to surprise people with his ability to bounce back.
"He just made his mind up to go through the therapy and just get there," Robinette said. "He's playing at a level that's very competitive, and he's been a nice asset to the team, and we weren't sure he was going to be able to contribute when the season began. You can't say enough about him. There's a story there that is inspiring."
Gauthier said it felt good to finally be outside to get some playing time in, and he is continuing to make progress with his injury rehab.
"I've just got to keep going through it, and it will get better eventually," he said.
Escanaba and Gladstone both resume Monday at Menominee.