Wagner hoping for big things at state golf meet

Published 7:44 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2009

After finishing one stroke out of first place at the state meet last year, an Austin golfer is ready to take another crack at a state title.

Catherine Wagner, a senior, hopes to be among the top girls golfers at the Class ‘AAA’ state girls golf meet at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minn. Tuesday, June 3 and Wednesday, June 3.

“Maybe I can top it off with first or second,” said Wagner, who has is making her third trip to the state meet. “Knowing the course is definitely a big advantage. The pressure’s maybe still there, but I’ll try to hold it off I guess.”

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Wagner enters the meet as the Section 1AAA medalist, an honor she didn’t have last year when she ended up in second place at state. That gives her some momentum.

“I know (winning sections) is reachable now that I’ve accomplished it,” Wagner said. “It’s really exciting as a senior and going as a Section champ. It was fun playing at the section meet.”

Last year, Wagner put up a career-best score of 75 on the first day of the state meet and a score of 76 on the second day. After winning nine medals this past season, she shot a 77 on the second day of the Section 1AAA meet and a 76 on the first day, so she could be set to have a big week.

“She has an excellent chance (at state). I just hope she stays focused and she can pull it out this year,” Austin head coach Carissa Gabrielson said. “Last year it was almost disappointing that she took second because we thought she had won it. This year, I could see her shooting in the 70s both days and winning it.”

To prepare for state, Wagner is spending a lot of time around the greens and Gabrielson has some simple advice for her.

“She just needs to relax and the practice round will be very helpful for her,” she said.

Wagner will play golf at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire next year. She is undecided on a major.

“It’s a good school, so I decided to play golf and see what happens,” she said.

Gabrielson will miss what Wagner brought to the Packers.

“Her attitude, leadership and work ethic will be missed next year,” she said.

The class ‘AAA’ girls will tee off at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday.