Wagner wins third straight Big Nine Golf Title; Austin team takes fifth

Published 5:03 pm Monday, May 18, 2009

Another meet, another medal.

Austin’s Catherine Wagner took first in the Big Nine girls golf meet for the third straight season as she came out on top Monday at Austin Country Club.

The senior topped the field with a score of 82 – the same mark she’s had in her last three outings at ACC. The next closest competitor was John Marshall’s Paige Cook, who shot an 82.

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“This was definitely something I wanted to achieve as a senior,” said Wagner, who has played since seventh grade. “Three years in a row, I think that’s pretty good.”

As a team, the Packers finished in fifth place with a 387 after shooting a 362 at ACC last Friday. Heavy winds helped keep every team’s score high, as Winona won the meet with a score of 368.

“It was tough. It was windy and everybody had high scores today,” Austin head coach Carissa Gabrielson said.

The Packers had just two players shoot under 100 as Alex Larson had a 92 on the day.

“It was pretty impressive for Catherine to finish with an 82 after shooting a 43 in the front nine,” Gabrielson said. “Alex Larson was very consistent again and I was glad to see another score in the 90s. I was hoping for one more in the 90s, but we didn’t get it unfortunately.’

The wind forced Wagner to play some holes longer, but she also took advantage of it when she was driving with it at her back. In all, she fared well, finishing 16 of the 18 holes in five strokes or less and finishing hole No. 10 in three strokes.

“Some were nice with the wind, so you could get on the greens on two swings for sure,” Wagner said. “There were a couple of holes I had to lay up before the water instead of going for the green because of some wind gusts. I played it differently than on other days.”

Wagner, who won every Big Nine triangular she competed in this season, will now focus on the Section 1AAA golf meet at Cannon Golf Club in Cannon Valley that takes place Thursday and May 26. Besides the top team, the top five individual golfers from that meet will advance to the state meet.

Wagner took second in the Class ‘AAA’ state meet last year and is hoping to get back to state.

“(Winning the Big Nine) gives me a little fire going into Thursday,” Wagner said. “I know I’m capable of shooting low 80s, because that’s what I’ve been averaging all season.”

Wagner’s career best score is a 75, which she shot at state last year.

While Faribault won the Big Nine meet, Albert Lea took home the Big Nine title, as half of the scoring is based on the regular season.

Austin scores: Wagner, 82; Alex Larson, 92; Natalie Swan, 109; Lauren Stasi, 109; Kelsey Stough, 116; Ingrid Baudler, 119

Team scores

1. Faribault 368

2. Albert Lea 372

3. Mankato West 373

4. Owatonna 385

5. Austin 387

6. John Marshall 391

7. Mankato East 399

8. Winona 400

9. Mayo 406

10. Century 407