The Osceola girls golf team had a busy first week of the season with three matches in a four-day span.
On Aug. 20, they traveled to Amery and competed in the Amery Invitational. The Chieftains finished fourth with a 450.
Defending state champion Prescott won the invite with a 330. Their junior varsity team was second at 426, followed by St. Croix Central’s junior varsity at 450.
Ava Salay of Prescott cruised to medalist honors with a 76, seven shots better than her teammate Jessica Heinsch. Amery’s Kaylee Yzerman was third at 84.
Amanda Steffen led Osceola with a 97, followed by Morgan Gjovig’s 108. Ashlyn Tinney was next at 125. Abby Jonas and Natalee Bjornstad each shot a 129.
“Amanda had another great day beating her personal best so far,” coach Lisa Richert said. “Amanda and Abby both got a birdie which doesn’t happen often. There was some struggle today, but overall the drives and putting were a success today.”
The previous day, Osceola traveled to Prescott to compete in the MBC Border Battle.
It was a battle of MBC ‘North’ schools (Osceola, Somerset and St. Croix Central) and ‘South’ schools (Prescott, Ellsworth and Baldwin-Woodville).
The rules were each girl played their ball all 18 holes, and then based on where they finished got a certain amount of points for their team.
The South edged the North 71-69.
Prescott’s Liz Rohl was medalist with a 74, edging St. Croix Central’s Sally Vangsness by three shots. Prescott’s Ava Salay was third.
For Osceola, Amanda Steffen carded a 98, Natalee Bjornstad finished with a 116. Abby Jonas shot a 119. Paetynn Bliese posted a 125.
“Having fun was the game today and who could survive the heat,” Richert said. “It was a hot one and it really was a test on our stamina. The course was great, and the girls got a chance to play 18 holes using all they had worked on. Our drives were great, and the iron game is perhaps an area we need to work on.
“(Steffen) has worked hard and is ready to play. She played in the fourth or fifth position on the golf team the past few years and this is playing the No. 1 spot and is rising to that spot. She is staying focused and really thinking about hitting her shots.”
The Chieftains started its season Aug. 17 at the Somerset Invitational with a second place finish.
St. Croix Central won the meet with 176, followed by Osceola’s 224.
“It was our first match and it was plenty hot,” Richert said. “This was our first event so getting to know teammates from the other schools, getting our nerves settled were key today. Once we settled in, everything starting working. This was a great way to start our season.”
Somerset’s Ava Pesha and St. Croix Central’s Sally Vangsness earned medalist honors with a 40. Central’s Sarah McHenry and Gil Home were next, carding a 45.
Morgan Gjoving led the Chieftains with a 50. Amanda Steffen carded a 54. Natalee Bjornstad posted a 58 and Abby Jonas finished with a 62.
“It was just fun to watch the girls put forth everything they had been working on in practice and then know what they needed to work on…. I saw a lot of good things,” Richert said.