Depth enables Westwood Patriots to sweep Mid-Peninsula Conference golf titles
CHAMPION — Depth proved to be the key for the Westwood High School golf teams on Thursday as the Patriots swept the girls and boys team titles at the Mid-Peninsula Conference meets held at Wawonowin Country Club.
The Patriots, along with Negaunee and Manistique, will take part in the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 1 finals at a pair of courses in Harris on Thursday. The girls play at Sage Run Golf Course and the boys at Sweetgrass Golf Club.
Iron Mountain takes part in the D-2 finals at George Young Golf Course near Iron River on Wednesday.
Though WHS’ Tyler Annala claimed the boys medalist title by three strokes, what really helped Westwood win the team trophy by more than 30 strokes was the Pats claiming four of the top five individual places.
Annala shot 77 to beat out Iron Mountain’s Ricky Brown. Each of those golfers shot 41 on their front nines, but Annala added 36 coming in while Brown had 39 for his 80.
Then came back-to-back-to-back Westwood golfers finishing third, fourth and fifth. Justin Richards added 89, Garrett Sundberg 91 and Luke Olson 91 as the Patriots totaled 349.
Just for insurance, the Pats’ No. 5 shooter, Luke Mariuzza, also finished in the top 10 in eighth with 96. That place was determined on a tiebreaker as he was actually part of a four-way tie for seventh.
IM was far back as runner-up with 381 as the Mountaineers’ No. 2 shooter was Brett Ramme with 94, which was good for sixth.
Negaunee was third in the team standings with 407, edging out Manistique’s 408.
Scoring for the Miners was Dawson Erva, Jackson Gladwell and Corbin Erva, who on tiebreakers finished seventh, eighth and 10th, though they all shot 96.
Negaunee’s other scorer was Riley Williams with 119, though the team’s fifth golfer was right behind as Max Churack had 120.
Nate Schoenow shot 98 and Owen Klavich 99 to lead Manistique as the pair just missed the top 10 in 11th and 12th places, respectively.
Teammate Grant Mason added 103 and Landen Dougherty 108 as fifth-shooter Cale Dykes carded 117.
The Patriots again made their depth count in the girls meet as Negaunee’s Rachel Niskanen claimed medalist honors with four Westwood golfers in the next five places.
Niskanen had the two best girls’ nine-hole scores of 44 and 51 for a total of 95, 14 strokes ahead of No. 2 Jillian Koski of Westwood, who shot 109.
The Patriots’ Laci Moffatt was third with 110, Renee Blanck fifth with 111 and Kalle Keranen sixth with 115.
And Westwood’s non-scoring fifth golfer also cracked the top 10 as Heidi Meglathery was eighth with 117.
That allowed Westwood to claim a 37-stroke victory as the Pats totaled 445 to runner-up Negaunee’s 482. IM was third with 497 and Manistique fourth with 511.
After Niskanen, Negaunee’s Josie Smith was seventh with 117, while Kina Salmela and Lexi Mason each shot 135.
IM was paced by ninth-place Lily Verrett with 118, while teammate Natalia Brown was 10th with 120.
Manistique’s top shooter was Nora Cunningham, who was fourth with 111. Next was Macy Green with 125, Maddy Maline with 136 and Jenna Jack with 139.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.