Wessington Springs holds off Hanson to win Class B boys state golf title

Jun. 4—BROOKINGS — Though the chase for a team state championship remained undecided through 35 holes at the Class B state tournament on Tuesday afternoon, Wessington Springs found a way to prevail.

The Spartans entered the day with a nine-stroke advantage, but clung to just a one-stroke lead over surging Hanson as the Spartans' top golfer, Blake Larson, made his way down the 18th fairway as part of the final pairing at Brookings Country Club.

Hanson and Wessington Springs golfers alike watched tentatively as Larson landed his set-up shot on the green. Though narrowly missing a birdie attempt, he calmly sank his final putt to secure the Spartans their first state golf title in program history. Wessington Springs defeated the Beavers, 478 to 479.

"I asked my teammates with three holes left and they wouldn't tell me where we were at. They wouldn't tell me anything," Larson said. "So that almost put more pressure on me than anything, but I told myself to just go out and finish. I knew it was going to be close, I knew it was going to come down to the last hole, but it just ended up working out."

With windy and rainy weather, Hanson shot the best score of the field, a 233 — a 13-stroke improvement of its day-one effort. Wessington Springs, on the other hand, shot a 241, four strokes back of its Monday score to make things interesting.

That's when the Spartans' depth began to show off. Though Wessington Springs' second-place finisher on Monday, Brock Krueger, took a step back from an 80 to an 85 on Tuesday, the team's fourth-place finisher on Monday, JD Thompson, improved from an 89 to an 82 on Tuesday to make the Spartans' top-three.

Likewise, though Larson shot six strokes poorer on day two than on day one, from a 74 to 80, his younger brother, Luke Larson, improved his day-one total from 83 to 79 on Day 2 to have the team's best Tuesday score.

All four golfers played a role in scoring for the team.

"We took Brock's score yesterday and JD's score today for the team score," coach Regina Teveldal said. "It was everybody's effort. It was all four of them. You can't ask for more than taking all four of them."

"It's wonderful," Teveldal added on winning the title. "We've been looking forward to this since these seniors have been sixth graders."

Hamlin finished in a close third-place, shooting a 481. Ipswich was third with a 494, Chester was fifth (496), Hill City was sixth (499) and Wall was seventh (500). Among other Mitchell-area schools, Bon Homme tied for 15th (516), Freeman was 19th (537) and Mount Vernon/Plankinton was 20th (549).

Sully Buttes' Gavin Colson shot a 150 (six-over par) across the 36-hole event to win the boys' individual title by two strokes. Colson entered the day a stroke back of Wessington Springs' Blake Larson, but shot a 75 to pull ahead.

"I wanted to get off to a good start, and that's exactly what I did. I gave myself a cushion and it worked out pretty well," Colson said. "It got tough towards the end. The back nine was brutal. Windy, rainy, but you just have to fight through it, and that's exactly what we did."

Tied for second was Ipswich's Chet Peterson and Colman-Egan's Taylor Kriech with a 152, while Wessington Springs' Blake Larson and McIntosh's Wyatt Larson tied for fourth with a 154.

Florence/Henry's Logan Vavruska and Miller's Derek Brueggemen tied for sixth (156), while Hanson's Ben Wilber and AJ Wilber, Sully Buttes' Wesley Wittler and Wall's Trevor Schulz all tied for eighth.

Among other Mitchell-area golfers, Ethan's Gerlach tied for 15th (161), Wessington Springs' Luke Larson tied for 18th and Gregory's Trey Murray tied for 27th (164). Wessington Springs' Krueger and Bon Homme's Landon Bares tied for 29th (165), Howards' Weston Remmers placed 34th (166), Platte-Geddes' Jye Bailey was tied for 36th (167) and Hanson's Will Jarding, Isayah Price and Freeman's Tannen Auch landed in 36th-place (167).

BROOKINGS — Chester prevailed for a girls Class B state championship on Tuesday, shooting a 526 across the 36-hole event at Edgebrook Golf Course. Miller placed second (539), while Clark/Willow Lake was third (557) and Estelline/Hendricks was fourth (568).

The tournament's individual medalist was Clark/Willow Lake's Brynn Roehrich, who shot a 152. Miller's Jayce Pugh was second (158) and Chester's Jadyn McDonald was third (159).

McCook Central/Montrose's Maddy Lauck landed in the top-five with rounds of 85 and 88 to shoot 173 for a gross total. Other area top-20 finishers included Andes Central/Dakota Christian's Abigail Svatos (12th, 87-90—177), Avon's McKenna Kochmich (16th, 93-88—181) and Burke's Olivia Bull (93-91—184) and Calli Davis (92-92—184) both finished tied for 19th place.