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Take Two: Glenwood City golfers claim second straight regional title

CUMBERLAND — Consistency and success go hand-in-hand.

And the Glenwood City golf team has aptly demonstrated both these past several years.

After a string of three consecutive Dunn-St. Croix Championships (2012-2014), Glenwood City earned its fourth straight trip to the sectional meet and sixth in the past seven years when it claimed victory at the WIAA Division 3 Cumberland Golf Regional on Tuesday, May 26.

The Hilltoppers shot a 345 at the 18-hole, par 72 Cumberland Golf Course to earn their second straight regional crown, besting conference foe and runner-up Spring Valley by eight strokes in the nine-team meet. The Toppers were also regional runners-up in 2012 and 2013.

The top two squads easily out distanced the remaining competitors. Host Cumberland, 43 shots off the Hilltoppers’ winning score, finished a distance third with 388 followed by Unity at 390, Grantsburg tallied 391, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser finished with a 394, Luck/Frederic scored a 397, Clear Lake hit for 451 and Turtle Lake/Clayton brought up the rear with 490.

The top four teams, Glenwood City, Spring Valley, Cumberland and Unity, along with the top four individuals from non-qualifying teams, moved on to the sectional meet held yesterday (Tuesday, June 2) at Pine Valley Golf Course in Marathon. The top two teams and top three individuals from non-qualifying teams at the sectional meet will advance to the WIAA State Golf Tournament at the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison on June 8 and 9.

Three Glenwood City golfers finished in the top ten of last Tuesday’s regional meet in Cumberland.

Junior Nathan Mrdutt led the Glenwood City varsity five with a score of 83 to finish in a two-way tie for sixth. Mrdutt shot a 41 on the front nine and a 42 on the back nine.

Senior Jake Hierlmeier was second for the Hilltoppers and eighth overall after finishing just a shot behind Mrdutt at 84. Garret Schemionek carded an 87 to place tenth in the individual standings and third on the Toppers’ team.

Senior Bill Norenberg tied for 13th place and fourth for Glenwood City with a score of 91. Collin Schone completed the Toppers scoring with a 101 which gave the freshman 22nd place.

Tyler Leach, a freshman from Spring Valley, was the meet’s medalist with a top score of 76. Grantsburg’s Jordan Knutson finished just a stroke off that pace and was the runner-up for a second straight year. Knutson lost last year’s medalist honors to Glenwood City graduate Nick Mrdutt.

“The morning started off well,” noted Glenwood City coach Ron Johnson. “There were some clouds but no rain and we held a 16-shot lead over Spring Valley.

“But the rain came as we started the final nine holes and continued through the rest of the tournament,” added Johnson.

But the Toppers were able to hold off the Cardinals, who sliced that midpoint lead in half after 18 holes.

“We were able to finish with a 345 and win our second consecutive regional championship,”  Johnson said.

Jake Hierlmeier shot a 40 to lead Glenwood City’s play on the first nine holes, which are longer but more open on the Cumberland course. He had three pars and a birdie in the first seven holes but finished with a bogey and double bogey on holes eight and nine.

But like most of his other teammates, with the exception of Garret Schemionek, Hierlmeier saw his score climb to a 44 on the much tighter back nine as he finished with an 84. The senior bogeyed or double bogeyed five of the final nine holes. Hierlmeier was able to par holes ten and 12 and birdied 17.

Nathan Mrdutt finished just a stroke behind Hierlmeier on the front nine as he scored a 41 which was complemented with five pars. Mrdutt parred holes 11,12, 17 and 18 for a 42 on the back nine and a final score of 83.

After shooting a 44 on the first nine holes of play, Garret Schemionek shaved off a stroke on the final nine and finished with an 87. Schenionek had just one par on the front nine but carded a couple of  pars and birdies on the back nine.

Bill Norenberg birdied the first hole and then parred holes seven and nine to finish with a 43 midway through the meet. He started the back nine well with pars on holes 11 and 12 but then shot four-over on 13, triple bogeyed 14 and double bogeyed 16 and finished with a back nine tally of 48 for an overall score of 91.

Collin Schone scored a 50 and a 51 on the front and back nine respectively. The freshman had just one par, that came on the par-four eleventh.

The Hilltoppers will be vying for their second trip to the state meet in the past three years. Jake Hierlmeier represented Glenwood City at last year’s state meet as an individual competitor where he finished tied for 31st with a two-day total of 175 (83-92).