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Cloquet golf teams aim for section titles

Girls take third, boys first at home meet

First-year Lumberjacks head coach Andrew Miller aims to build a solid girls golf program, much like the Cloquet boys, a perennial frontrunner for the Section 7 championship. This year Miller has been able to double the number of athletes on the team. His group was rewarded on Monday with a third-place finish in the Lumberjack Invite held at the Cloquet Country Club.

"The girls played well under some tougher conditions," said Miller. "It was raining as they warmed up, but then the rain stopped, but the ground was still wet so you couldn't get a lot of carry on the drives because the ground was so soft."

Rock Ridge won the team event. They will be Cloquet's main competition when girls sectional play begins next Tuesday at The Quarry at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minnesota.

"We're done with the regular season now and we hope to be in the top four after Tuesday's first round," Miller said. "The top four teams will move on to play for a chance to go to State."

At Monday's Invitational, the Cloquet girls were led by Abigail Steinert, who shot an 84 and tied for first place on the day. Her twin sister, Juli Steinert, shot an 89. Addison Johnson carded a 96 and Kortney Kavanaugh ended up with a 108. Only the top four scores are included in team scoring. Miaya Jakubek also played varsity for Cloquet.

"Our top three have been the Steinerts and Addison Johnson for the most part," Miller said. "Addison has come a long way and right now the girls are really working at getting better every time we get on a course."

The Lumberjacks have set their sights on next week's sectional play.

"Going into sections we have a great shot to win it if we play our best golf," Miller said. "It really seems to be a three-team race between Rock Ridge, us and Hermantown. We've been able to beat Hermantown most of the times we've faced them this year and we just need to have a good Tuesday. We need to be close to the lead on Tuesday and then anything can happen."

If the 'Jacks are close on Tuesday, they have a legitimate chance to make a run to the section title.

Boys on a tear

The red-hot Cloquet boys golf team took top honors on their home course Monday by shooting a combined score of 305. The Lumberjacks were the top team in the 12-team field, with Grand Rapids finishing second and Duluth East capturing third.

"It turned out to be a pretty decent day for golf," said Cloquet boys head coach Aaron Young. "It was raining while the guys were warming up, but then the rain stopped and we were able to get a round in finally without a lot of wind."

Cloquet has played in 13 events this spring. According to Young, most of those matches have been played in windy and miserable conditions.

"It's been tough, especially with the high winds we've had to battle," Young said.

Grant Faherty of Duluth East won the Invite with the low round of 72, while Hibbing's Ethan Sundvall was second with a score of 74.

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