CEC boys are back-back-back-back at State


June 9, 2023

Contributed photo

The Cloquet boys golf team won the Section 7AA championship and is headed back to state for the fifth time in a row, not counting a year lost to the pandemic pause.

For the fifth time in a row, the Cloquet High School boys golf team won the Section 7AA tournament and will return to the prestigious Minnesota state golf tournament. Probably more of a surprise was the outstanding finish by the Cloquet High School girls golf team. In fourth place after Day 1, the girls climbed past Hermantown and Mesabi East to finish in second place to Section 7AA champ Rock Ridge. Both boys and girls section tournaments were held at the tight Quarry Golf Course at Giants Ridge Resort in Biwabik.

There is something about the Quarry that brings out the best in Cloquet golf teams.

"Our strength, as has been the case over the past years, is our great team depth and balance," said Cloquet boys head coach Aaron Young.

The Cloquet boys had five of the top 10 individual scores for the two-day tournament. But, it was Karson Young, the sophomore phenom, who topped the individual leaderboard with a fabulous two-day total of 142 (72/70). In Young's final round 70, he had five birdies, 11 pars, only one bogey and one double bogey to end two under par.

Second was Hermantown junior Holden Evjen at 147 (76/71). Evjen had six birdies in his final round. Par at the Quarry golf club is 72.

Cloquet's four top players team score was 607 while runner-up Hermantown came in at 622, a 15-stroke margin. Proctor/Esko took third at 667.

Cloquet's only senior finished third at 149 with scores of 75 and 74.

"This will be the fifth straight state tournament appearance for senior Karson Patten," Coach Young said. "He has been steady every meet and continues to lead us off and on the course."

Other Cloquet boys scores included Blair Chartier 156 (76,80), Collin Young 160 (80, 80), Anders Gunelson 164 (84, 80), and Cooper Ellena 172 (88, 84).

"It was a true team effort," Coach Young said. "We're looking forward to the state and now with more experience for our younger players, we feel we will be very competitive with the scores of Minnesota's best."

Girls take second

Twin sisters JuliAnn and Abigail Steinert qualified for the girls state golf tournament. JuliAnn was third in the section at 183 (95,88) and Abigail tied for fifth at 194 (101,93).

Other Cloquet scores were Adison Johnson 199 (101, 98), and Avery Carlson 218 (106, 112). The runner-up section team finish was the best for CHS in recent history.

CHS head girls coach Matt Carlson said it was an exciting tournament, explaining that - other than the first-place team - the top five individual finishers qualify for State.

Contributed photo

Cloquet's Karson Young pars on the last hole of his final round in the section meet, winning the individual title.

"Abigail was two strokes out of fifth place going into hole 18," Carlson said. "She was able to beat the competing girl by three on the last hole to qualify. She hit a clutch 7 iron and two putted."

It will be the first time the Steinert girls will be competing at State, but not their first visit. They have been to the Ridges at Sand Creek golf course spectating the last several years with their brother, Trevor (who was on the CHS 2021 state championship team), and cousins (the Young kids) playing for the Cloquet boys team.

"They are juniors, so we are going to soak it all up and have some fun and see what happens." Carlson said. "Hopefully, they can gain some valuable experience for a potential return as seniors."

The state tournament is in Jordan June 13-14.


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