River Falls sophomore Will Benedict hits a wedge shot into a par five during the River Falls Wildcat Invitational tournament on Wednesday, April 20. Benedict posted an 83, his best score of the year and one of the top scores at the tournament. ________________________
River Falls, Prescott, Ellsworth golf compete in Wildcat Invitational

Spring Valley’s conference golf results

By Reagan Hoverman

On Wednesday, April 20, three local teams including Prescott, Ellsworth and River Falls, the host school, com _

peted in the River Falls Wild _

cat Invitational, an 18 _ hole varsity tournament at the River Fall Golf Club.

Similar to what every other spring sport has dealt with throughout the 2022 season, it was raining and cold and play _

ing conditions were tough dur _ ing the entirety of the round. Despite those conditions, River Falls earned a second _ place finish with a team score of 323, Ellsworth finished sixth with a score of 360 and Prescott fin _ ished ninth with a score of 400. There were 11 total teams at the tournament.

Leading the charge for the second _ placed Wildcats, which trailed only Eau Claire Memo _ rial’s outstanding team score of 311, was junior Matthew Mar _

sollek, who posted an individ _ ual winning score of 77 after shooting a 40 on the front nine and 37 on the back nine. Mar _

sollek spoke about his first _ place performance.

“The wind was the toughest part of the round,” Marsollek said. “On number three I had 150 yards into the green and I hit eight _ iron, which is my 180 _ yard club, and I came up short. It was brutal. Yeah, I def _ initely expected (to beat a lot of the competition).”

Marsollek stated that even after making double _ bogey at the first hole, he was confident that he would bounce back and put together a solid round. Throughout the 2022 season thus far, Marsollek has been stringing together great rounds.

His worst finish this season was a tie for ninth place in the first meet of the year and since then has been consistently in the top _ five scores at every ___________________

Prescott junior Jakob Hegemann rolls a putt on his final hole of the Wildcat Invitational as the rain began coming down. The invitational was Hegemann’s first competitive 18 _ hole round for Prescott. ________________________ GOLF

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meet. River Falls head coach Tim LaVold spoke about Marsollek’s play and the overall results of the meet.

“I’m very happy with today,” LaVold said. “We know we’re solid at the top with two guys that can really play, and we know we have a third guy that is capable of putting up really good numbers. We’re looking for our four and five and Will (Benedict) showed he wants to be in that mix. I’m thrilled with that.”

LaVold spoke about the two scores at the top with Marsollek and senior Trey Timm, who posted an overall score of 78, one shot out of a tie for first place. Sophomore Will Benedict posted an 83, his best score of the season and a number that if shot consistently, would put him firmly on the varsity roster long term.

“When he played JV last year he played from the white tees and the blue tees on this course are a lot tougher,” LaVold said. “When you mix in the round in the rain and how he played well, the fact that he posted a solid score is great. If we could have two guys shooting what Will (Benedict) shot, we have a chance to go to state with this group.”

The final score for River Falls includes Mar sollek’s 77, Timm’s 78, Benedict’s 83, senior Jacob Landgraf’s 85 and senior Ethan Camp bell’s 88.

The Ellsworth Panthers also competed in the River Falls Wildcat Invitational and earned a sixth place finish for their efforts. Scores in clude sophomore Trey Wittenberg’s 84, junior Ethan Oricchio’s 90, junior Vinny Young’s 91, and seniors Nick White and Hunter Westerberg posted scores of 95 and 108 respectively.

Ellsworth’s overall team score of 360 is a promising result for the Panthers, as they de feated Prescott by 40 shots at the tournament, which is indicative of what can be expected throughout Middle Border Conference meets.

While Ellsworth has several solidified golfers, Prescott is in the process of rebuilding the boys’ golf program. Prescott’s final team score of 400 included the following scores: Freshman Tyler Reiter’s 80, freshman Sam Ves

perman’s 99, junior Evan Radke’s 106, fresh man Finn Stanton’s 115 and junior Jakob Hegemann’s 131.

For Prescott, the Wildcat Invitational was the first meet of the year with multiple kids playing competitive golf for the first time. Prescott head coach Jay Bartsch spoke about that situation along with the conditions on the course and re flected on the day.

“I think in general it was pretty good,” Bartsch said. “My number one player (Tyler) Reiter finished top ten by shooting an 80, so that’s positive. For their first round and the con ditions, I thought it was a pretty good round for them.”

Two of the five varsity starters played 18 holes competitively for the first time at the Wildcat Invitational in Stanton and Hegemann. Bartsch spoke about those athletes getting their first experience on the golf course.

“I know Hegemann’s coming in with a pretty high score, but it’s his first year out for golf, he didn’t know what to expect,” Bartsch said. “Same thing with Finn (Stanton), it’s the first time they’ve played 18 holes.”

Spring Valley finishes fourth in DunnSt. Croix Conference match

On Thursday, April 21, the Spring Valley golf team competed in the second Dunn St. Croix Conference match of the season at the Valley Golf Course in Mondovi.

Spring Valley posted a total team score of 234, which slotted them into a fourth place fin

ish ahead of Mondovi’s last place score of 238. Finishing ahead of Spring Valley was Durand in first with a score of 189, Glenwood City’s 194 and Colfax’s 210.

Scores for the event include sophomore Mara Ducklow’s 54, sophomore Sam Steinmeyer’s 58, junior Phoebe Vodnik’s 59, junior Addie Kado’s 63 and sophomore Abby Thompson’s 73.

The next meet on the schedule for the Spring Valley golf team is slated for Wednesday, April 27 at Whitetail Golf Course in Colfax. That meet is slated to begin at 9:30 a.m.

River Falls senior Jacob Landgraf hits his tee shot during the Wildcat Invitational. Landgraf’s 85 put him in a tie for 13th as an individual at the tournament. ______________________ ___

April 26, 2022