'22 women's am | Riley Pechinski

Riley Pechinski | 2022 Women's Am

Wisconsin.Golf's Rob Hernandez analyzes the WIAA Division 1 girls regional golf tournaments being played across the state this week. The top four teams in each regional advance to next week's sectionals, along with the top four golfers not on those teams. The state tournament is Oct. 10-11 at University Ridge in Madison.

HUDSON SECTIONAL

EAU CLAIRE MEMORIAL REGIONAL

Team Average
New Richmond 179.2
Hudson 183.4
Chippewa Falls/McDonell Catholic (Chippewa Falls) 185.9
River Falls 195.11
Superior 199.9
Menomonie 214.2
Eau Claire Memorial 214.5
Eau Claire North 250.9

Eau Claire Memorial regional

When: 9 a.m. Thursday. Where: Mill Run GC-Eau Claire.

2021 story: New Richmond golfers swept the top four spots with senior Lanie Veenendall (76) earning medalist honors ahead of teammates Abbie Ritter (83), Norah Harris (84) and Sydney Nolan (86) as the Tigers shot 329 and won the WIAA Division 1 Hudson regional by 51 strokes over the host Raiders. River Falls (408) and Chippewa Falls/McDonell Catholic (415). It took a score of 106 or better to qualify for the sectional individually.

2022 skinny: New Richmond hasn't made back-to-back WIAA state tournament appearances since 2000 and 2001, but that could very well change this fall. The Tigers return three of the five golfers from the team that won this regional a year ago, finished second to Tomah at the Rice Lake sectional and placed ninth at the 12-team state tournament behind senior Lanie Veenendall, who finished T-5. While New Richmond misses Veenendall, who is now competing at NCAA Division II Augustana (S.D.), it has developed a solid No. 1 in her absence in senior Abbie Ritzer, who shot 82 at Lake Wissota GC in Chippewa Falls a week ago to win the Big Rivers Conference championship. New Richmond, however, needs junior Nora Harris to bounce back from a tough day at last week's sectional if it is to gain a measure of revenge on Hudson, which shot 358 to win the team title by two strokes over the Tigers. 

Projected sectional team qualifiers: New Richmond, Hudson, Chippewa Falls, Superior.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Mahlia McCane, River Falls; Isabelle Campbell, Eau Claire Memorial; Ellie Krueger, River Falls; Lexi Stokes, Menomonie.

Tomah regional

TOMAH REGIONAL

Team Average
Tomah 168.1
Holmen 188.7
Stevens Point 192.3
Marshfield 194.1
Wisconsin Rapids 206.1
Onalaska 214.4
La Crosse Central/Logan 215
Sparta 264.6

When: 9 a.m. Wednesday. Where: Hiawatha GC-Tomah.

2021 story: Tomah junior Brin Neumann shot 76 at River Run GC in Sparta to share medalist honors with Onalaska senior Allison Balduzzi as the Timberwolves (331) cruised to the team title ahead of Onalaska (359) and Wisconsin Rapids (378). Stevens Point, behind eventual state champion Riley Pechinski (84), shot 403 to earn the fourth sectional berth ahead of Holmen (406). It took a score of 102 or better to advance out of the regional individually.

2022 skinny: The quest for a fourth consecutive state tournament berth begins at home for seniors Brin Neumann and Amelia Zingler and Tomah, which comes into the WIAA postseason on the heels of an impressive 312 in winning the Mississippi Valley Conference title for the fourth year in a row. Neumann (34.5) and Zingler (35) have been stride-for-stride in scoring average atop the lineup for Tomah, which also has senior leadership at the back of the lineup in Peyton Foster and Maddie Ewers. That should easily keep the Timberwolves ahead of the pack on their home course in their own regional. Mississippi Valley Conference runner-up Holmen, Wisconsin Valley Conference champion Stevens Point and WVC runner-up Marshfield seem poised to send full teams to the sectional, but Onalaska could be in position to go if any of the three were to falter. 

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Tomah, Stevens Point, Holmen, Marshfield.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Alex Wayss, Onalaska; Logan Vollert, Wisconsin Rapids; Claire Ninneman, Wisconsin Rapids; Santanna Carranza, La Crosse Central/Logan.

KIMBERLY SECTIONAL

Appleton East regional

APPLETON EAST REGIONAL

Team Average
Kaukauna 170.3
Appleton North 176.2
Neenah 179
Hortonville 192.3
Kimberly 197.3
De Pere 198.1
Appleton East 205
Appleton West 212.6
West De Pere 222.5

When: 9 a.m. Wednesday. Where: Reid Municipal GC-Appleton.

2021 story: Appleton North junior AJ Powell shot 77 to capture medalist honors as the Lightning (356) shot past Kaukauna (363) and Neenah (368) to take the De Pere regional team title at Ledgeview GC in De Pere. Kimberly (372) edged Hortonville (375) for the last of the four sectional berths, leaving the Polar Bears to send senior Kate Downie and junior Savannah Teal onto the sectional individually. It took a score of 92 or better to make it out of the regional individually.

2022 skinny: Kaukauna (349) regained the upper hand on Appleton North (354) to win last week's Fox Valley Association championship at Chaska GC in Greenville. And Reid Muni isn't exactly the kind of course that puts a scare into teams — especially the Galloping Ghosts, who have six golfers capable of breaking 90. The annual stop on the WPGA Junior Tour has been known to yield a low score or two, as evidenced by Powell's 72 there during the circuit's 2020 stop at Appleton's municipal course. North got a 71 from Powell a week ago when she won the FVA title by 12 shots over Appleton East's Jaelyn Feller, but the Lightning only had one other sub-90 score and two better than 100. Neenah should join Kaukauna and North atop this regional, but the fourth team qualifier will be a study in perseverance with less than six strokes separating Hortonville, Kimberly and De Pere.

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Kaukauna, Neenah, Appleton North, Hortonville.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Jaelyn Feller, Appleton East; Gabby Hauser, De Pere; Jenna Schumacher, Kimberly; Julianne Bradford, De Pere.

Bay Port regional

BAY PORT REGIONAL

Team Average
Notre Dame (Green Bay) 173.7
Bay Port 178.3
Shawano 189
Wausau East/West 189.7
Pulaski 194.9
Green Bay Preble co-op 196.6
Ashwaubenon 203.8

When: 10 a.m. Wednesday. Where: Brown County GC-Green Bay.

2021 story: Senior Abbey Beranek and sophomore Adalyn Johnston shot matching 80s to lead a 2-2-4-6 Bay Port finish as the Pirates fired a 326 and topped Notre Dame (Academy) by 11 strokes for the team title. Wausau East/West (367) and Pulaski (381) locked down the two additional berths, the latter by just five strokes over fifth-place Shawano. It took a score of 95 or better to advance to the sectional a year ago, the kind of score that allows a golfer a greater margin for error in their quest to advance if their teams are unable to make it. 

2022 skinny: The first of what are likely to be three consecutive postseason showdowns between Notre Dame Academy (Green Bay) and Bay Port begin with a regional battle that will be hard-pressed to be any tighter than last week's Fox River Classic Conference Championship where the two teams tied for first at 332. Notre Dame will be a strong contender for its 16th WIAA state berth (but just the second since 2016) with the return of senior Grace Durkin from a back injury that sidelined her the entire 2021 season. Bay Port has the strong 1-2 punch of juniors Adalyn Johnston and Ava Beranek, who finished 2-3 behind Durkin at the FRCC Championship, and could be poised for great things if sophomore Kristina Kruse, fifth at the conference, continues that level of play the final three weeks of the season. Wausau East/West has a strong front-runner in Talia Schlindwein, a sophomore who was the runner-up in the Wisconsin Valley this fall after winning the one leg Stevens Point's Riley Pechinski did not and tying the defending state champ at another WVC stop.

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Bay Port, Notre Dame (Green Bay), Wausau East/West, Shawano.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Riley Wood, Green Bay Preble co-op; Vivien Ninham, Pulaski; Halle Dessart, Green Bay Preble co-op; Madison Wagner, Ashwaubenon.

FOND DU LAC SECTIONAL

Homestead (Mequon) regional

HOMESTEAD (MEQUON) REGIONAL

Team Average
Brookfield East 163.9
Divine Savior Holy Angels (Milwaukee) 176.2
Homestead (Mequon) 181.3
Cedarburg 183.6
Whitefish Bay 184.8
Menomonee Falls 192.3
Germantown 192.8
Nicolet (Glendale) 206.8

When: 9 a.m. Wednesday. Where: Mee-Kwon GC-Mequon.

2021 story: Brookfield East sophomore Madison Haugen shot 73 at Mee-Kwon GC in Mequon to earn medalist honors by three strokes over Cedarburg junior Kate Bogenschutz, help the Spartans catch Cedarburg with matching 348 scores atop the leaderboard and win the showdown in a playoff 16-18. Host Homestead (Mequon) was a close third at 351 while Menomonee Falls (367) grabbed the fourth sectional berth a shade ahead of Whitefish Bay (368), Germantown (369) and Divine Savior Holy Angels (370). It took a score of 88 or lower to earn one of the fourth individual berths into the sectional.

2022 skinny: The arrival and emergence of Brookfield East freshman Payton Haugen, younger sister of last year's sectional medalist, has given the Spartans their first Greater Metro Conference title and, now, some cushion between them and the rest of the sectional as teams prepare to meet again at Mee-Kwon Park. Payton Haugen edged Madison 212-216 for individual honors in the season-long GMC standings, while the Clegg sisters — senior Josie and sophomore Macy — have done their part to keep East pushing toward a sub-310 score over 18 holes. This regional features perhaps the best individual race of any in the state during opening week of the WIAA postseason. Cedarburg senior Kate Bogenschutz and Divine Savior Holy Angels junior Kate Krueger should push the Haugen sisters for medalist honors with sophomore Daniella Honkamp and senior Lily Valimont and freshman Ava Roesch of DSHA darkhorses in the race. 

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Brookfield East, Divine Savior Holy Angels,  Cedarburg, Homestead (Mequon).

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Lily Valimont, Whitefish Bay; Daniella Honkamp, Whitefish Bay; Lauren Parker, Menomonee Falls; Em Foran, Germantown.

Hartford regional

HARTFORD REGIONAL

Team Average
Fond du Lac 185.9
Slinger 193.1
Sheboygan North/South 193.8
Hartford 201.4
West Bend East/West 214.1
Beaver Dam/Wayland Academy (Beaver Dam) 229.3
Oshkosh West 234.4
Kewaskum/Campbellsport 236.1

When: 9 a.m. Thursday. Where: Washington County GC-Hartford.

2021 story:  Senior Ava Wittstock shot 75 and junior Hannah Miller an 82 to finish 1-2 and lead Sheboygan North/South (357) to a nine-stroke victory over Hartford with host Fond du Lac (378) third at their own Fond du Lac regional at Rolling Meadows GC. Slinger edged North Shore Conference rival West Bend East/West 20-24 in a team playoff for the last of the fourth sectional berths. It took a score of 98 or better to earn a berth in the sectional.

2022 skinny: With Sheboygan North/South and Hartford fielding two seniors between them in their top fives, could this be Fond du Lac's year to break out and rule this regional? The Cardinals were a distant fourth at the Fox Valley Association Championship last week, but could be poised for bigger and better things in this regional if they can get three sub-100 scores behind No. 1 golfer Lucy Nielsen and No. 2 Sidney Doyle. Sheboygan tied for third at last week's Fox River Classic Championship with three sophomores behind senior Hannah Miller in the starting lineup. Hartford should hold down the fourth spot on their home course and get through to the sectional as well.

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Slinger, Fond du Lac, Hartford, Sheboygan North/South.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Addison Landy, West Bend East/West; Marin Bell, Oshkosh West; Ellen Poels, Beaver Dam/Wayland Academy; Brooklynn Holt, Beaver Dam/Wayland Academy.

MIDDLETON SECTIONAL

Reedsburg regional

REEDSBURG REGIONAL

Team Average
Middleton 161.1
Waunakee 163.7
Reedsburg 180.7
Sun Prairie West 184.4
DeForest 202.4
Baraboo 203.3
Madison West 205.5
Sun Prairie East 218.7

When: 9 a.m. Thursday. Where: Reedsburg CC.

2021 story: Three of Middleton's golfers shot 78 to finish T-4 and all five shot 80 or better as the Cardinals fired a 313 and edged Waunakee (316) for the team title at the Portage regional at Portage CC. Seniors Ellie Frisch and Milanne Dahmen joined sophomore Vivian Cressman in firing matching 78s to finish five strokes behind medalist Izzi Stricker, a sophomore for Waunakee who edged sophomore teammate Jordan Shipshock by one stroke for medalist honors. Reedsburg (341) and Sun Prairie (353) also advanced full teams to the sectional while individual berths went to those shooting 85 or better.

2022 skinny: Middleton and Waunakee have been virtually inseparable in the Golf Coaches Association Division 1 state rankings with Middleton — third at the 2021 state tournament — winning all four meetings at Janesville Parker, Middleton, University Ridge and Brookfield Central/Mequon Homestead. The fast greens at Reedsburg CC could be the great equalizer between the two, but should not allow Reedsburg or Sun Prairie West the chance to enter the conversation for the team title. Individually, it will be worth watching senior Ashleigh Johnson of Reedsburg to see if her knowledge of the course puts her into medalist contention, a race likely to be ruled by Vivian Cressman and Ellen Close of Middleton and Izzi Stricker and Jordan Shipshock of Waunakee.  

Projected sectional team qualifiers:  Middleton, Waunakee, Reedsburg, Sun Prairie West.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Brooklyn Fleming, Madison West; Lucy Strey, Sun Prairie; Kayla Capener Baraboo;  Morgan Endres, DeForest.

Oregon regional

OREGON REGIONAL

Team Average
Oregon 178
Monona Grove 196.1
Verona 197.7
Mount Horeb 199.3
McFarland 213.9
Stoughton 225.2

When: 9 a.m. Wednesday. Where: Legend at Bergamont GC-Oregon.

2021 story: Senior Emily Hopp shot 77 at Odana Hills GC in Madison, the only sub-80 score in the 37-player field, to earn medalist honors and lead Oregon (340) to a 47-stroke victory over Verona. Mount Horeb (391) edged Monona Grove (393) in the battle for third, but both advanced teams to the sectional level. It took a score of 99 or better for individual to qualify out of the regional.

2022 skinny: Emily Hopp may have graduated, but Oregon remains a heavy favorite on its home course at the Legends at Bergamont behind Delainey Halverson, Addison Sabel and Drew Hoffer, who all finished in the top six at last week's Badger West Conference Championship, which the Panthers won by 14 strokes over Reedsburg. Monona Grove, Verona and Mount Horeb should have no trouble getting through to the sectional, but the order in which they do it could be a flip of a coin. Neither Madison La Follette nor Madison Memorial have entries listed on the WIAA website, meaning McFarland and Stoughton should each qualify a pair of individuals onto the next level of the postseason.

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Oregon, Verona, Mount Horeb, Monona Grove.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Nikkia Kohn, McFarland; Ashtyn Anderson, Stoughton; Mia Burchette, McFarland; Brynne Bieri, McFarland .

JANESVILLE PARKER SECTIONAL

Elkhorn regional

ELKHORN REGIONAL

Team Average
Mukwonago 184.7
Kettle Morane 189.8
Janesville Parker 190.2
Milton 190.7
Janesville Craig 197.4
Fort Atkinson 210.8
Elkhorn 233

When: 8 a.m. Tuesday. Where: Evergreen CC-Elkhorn.

2021 story: Kettle Moraine (Wales) senior Jenna Anderson shot 2-under-par 69 at Janesville Riverside GC to win the battle for individual honors by one stroke over Janesville Craig sophomore Mya Nicholson. However, her Lasers lost a one-hole playoff to Milton 17-18 for the team title after the two teams finished 18 holes of regulation tied at 347. Both teams advanced to sectional play as did Craig (368) and Mukwonago (372). It took a score of 96 or better to get through the regional individually and play at the sectional level.

2022 skinny: Little more than 12 strokes (or three strokes per scoring golfer) separate the top team from the fifth seed heading into this regional at a demanding Evergreen CC, which should open the door to difference-makers such as Janesville Craig's Mya Nicholson and Milton's Hannah Dunk, a UW-Green Bay commit, to thrust their teams ahead of those ranked ahead of them. Mukwonago, which hasn't been to the WIAA state tournament since 2014, is the top seed with a 184.7 that would be 24 strokes behind the No. 2 seed in the Union Grove regional on the other half of the sectional. 

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Milton, Janesville Parker, Janesville Craig, Kettle Moraine.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Sarah Ramsden, Beloit Memorial; Ellie Karras, Mukwonago; Rachel Edwards, Fort Atkinson; Avalee Hernandez, Mukwonago.

Union Grove regional

UNION GROVE REGIONAL

Team Average
Westosha Central 156.3
Union Grove 160.5
Burlington 199.5
Badger (Lake Geneva)/Williams Bay 214.2
Wilmot 215.3
Kenosha Indian Trail 222.1
Kenosha Tremper 226.9

When: 9 a.m. Thursday. Where: Ives Grove GL-Sturgevant.

2021 story: The most spirited postseason rivalry in the state got underway at Ives Grove GL in Sturtevant where Union Grove got a 71 from medalist Norah Roberts, a 75 from senior Ali Torhorst and a 77 from sophomore Lexi Manteufel and, with a glistening 306, edged eventual WIAA Division 1 state champion Westosha Central by seven strokes. Badger (Lake Geneva)/Williams Bay (388) and Burlington (395) were rewarded for breaking 400 by earning team berths in the ensuing sectional. It took a score of 100 or better to get through this regional individually.

2022 skinny: Westosha Central and Union Grove continued their see-saw ways at last week's Southern Lakes Conference Championship at Ives Grove GL where the Falcons shot 326 and edged Union Grove by eight strokes for team honors. Westosha Central's Kylie Walker matched the Broncos' Norah Roberts for low individual score with a 74 and won a tie-breaker for the gold medal with a back-nine 35 (compared to a 37 for Roberts). Against that backdrop, the same cast of characters will square off again on the same course with much higher stakes. However, there isn't another team among five other schools with full squads at the regional likely to come within 30 strokes of displacing Westosha Central or Union Grove. Likewise, it would be a mild surprise if anyone other than Kylie Walker, Katelyn Walker or Roberts walked away with medalist honors, although Westosha's Elle O'Reilly and Union Grove's Allie McBryde and Lexi Manteufel have the potential to do so.

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Union Grove, Westosha Central, Burlington, Wilmot.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Ava Litkey, Kenosha Bradford/Reuther; Maddie Dahlk, Kenosha Indian Trail; Chloe Chappell, Badger (Lake Geneva)/Williams Bay; Lexi Schmidt, Badger (Lake Geneva)/Williams Bay.

BROOKFIELD CENTRAL SECTIONAL

Wauwatosa East/West regional

WAUWATOSA EAST/WEST REGIONAL

Team Average
Brookfield Central 180.8
Wauwatosa East/West 191.8
Franklin 196.8
Racine Case 205.7
Oak Creek 208.4
Racine Park 225.7
Greendale 226.6
Racine Horlick 269.5

When: 8 a.m. Tuesday. Where: Dretzka Park GC-Milwaukee.

2021 story: All five golfers in Brookfield Central's all-senior lineup finished in the top 10, led by Audra Czechowicz's T-4 finish as the Lancers shot 343 and topped host Franklin by 15 strokes for the team title at Muskego Lakes CC in Muskego. Wauwatosa East/West (374). It took a score of 98 or better to qualify for the sectional individually.

2022 skinny: Southeast Conference champion Franklin leads the top four SEC teams from last week's conference championship into Dretzka Park where the Sabers' greatest threats are two teams that finished fourth (Brookfield Central) and last (Wauwatosa East/West) at the seven-team Greater Metro Conference Championship. No school has qualified for more WIAA state girls golf championships than Brookfield Central (29), but with an all-new starting lineup this year isn't likely to produce state berth No. 30 for the Lancers. The winner of this regional, however, will be a heavy underdog against most of the four qualifiers from the Waukesha South regional next week at the sectional — even on Brookfield Central's home course at Wanaki GC in Menomonee Falls. 

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Brookfield Central, Franklin, Oak Creek, Wauwatosa East/West.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Leslie Million, Racine Case; Violet Desonia, Racine Horlick; Kiley Skenandore, Racine Park; Macey St. Lawrence, Greendale.

Waukesha South regional regional

WAUKESHA SOUTH REGIONAL

Team Average
Arrowhead (Hartland) 165.1
Oconomowoc 167.2
Waukesha South co-op 186
Hamilton (Sussex) 186.7
Muskego 192.3
New Berlin Eisenhower/West 195.5
Pewaukee 212.2
Waterford 224.9
Watertown 255.7

When: 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Where: Broadlands GC-North Prairie.

2021 story: Junior Audrey Kaiser of Arrowhead (Hartland) shot 79 and teammate Lauren Peterson shot 80 as their 1-2 finish led the Warhawks (332) to a 14-stroke victory over Hamilton (Sussex). Oconomowoc (355) and Waukesha South co-op (367) joined them in advancing to the sectional. It took a score of 99 or better to get out of the regional individually.

2022 skinny: Arrowhead (Hartland), which had its run of 18 consecutive WIAA state tournament appearances halted with its third-place sectional showing last season, comes into the WIAA postseason with the momentum of a 332-339 victory over Oconomowoc at last week's Classic 8 Conference Championship. The runner-up Racoons had 1-2 finishers in junior Lauren Lupinek and senior Katie Westbrook, but Arrowhead had all five of its golfers break 90 and finish in the top 11 out of 41 golfers. The two teams established themselves as the class of the Classic 8, but that will only go so far in a regional that also features Woodland Conference champion New Berlin Eisenhower/West and 2021 WIAA Division 1 state runner-up Hamilton (Sussex), which graduated four golfers off that team but returns a strong No. 1 in senior Kayla Johnson and is coming off a third-place finish at last week's Greater Metro Conference Championship.

Projected sectional team qualifiers: Arrowhead (Hartland), Oconomowoc, Hamilton (Sussex), Waukesha South co-op.

Projected sectional individual qualifiers: Krista Longden, Pewaukee; Katie Grotkin, New Berlin Eisenhower; Angelina Dorshak, New Berlin Eisenhower/West; Katie McCormick, Pewaukee.

rob@killarneygolfmedia.com

Rob started covering the state's golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison. He joined Killarney Golf Media in 2015 and helped develop Wisconsin.Golf's extensive coverage of junior, high school, college, amateur and pro golf.

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