By Brett Nachtigall
BELLE FOURCHE – After shooting a four-person, 18-hole team score of 355 the previous week to win the Belle Fourche Invitational, the Hot Springs Lady Bison girls' golf team increased the team score by 34 strokes to shoot a 389 on the same course to finish third overall in the Region 4A Tournament last Thursday, May 24.
Host Belle Fourche won the region title following a one-hole playoff versus St. Thomas More as both teams tied after 18 holes, with each shooting 367. Other teams competing included Lead-Deadwood (436), Custer, Pine Ridge and Red Cloud.
With the top-three region teams all qualifying for state, along with 60 percent of all individual players, the Lady Bison will once again be representing Hot Springs at the state tournament, being held in Dell Rapids next Monday and Tuesday, June 4-5.
The Region 4A medalist was Alex Kandolin of St. Thomas More, who shot and 18-hole score of 74, followed by a pair of Belle Fourche players Payson Birkeland and Jade Burr who shot 78 and 84 respectively.
Hot Springs junior Aryona Watts placed fourth with an 89, followed by Red Cloud’s Payton Sierra with a 93.
Other Hot Springs scores posted included junior Madilyn Palo with a 96 which placed her eighth overall, followed by freshman Jessi Schroeder in 11th with a 100, junior Malory Olstad with a 104 for 16th place and eighth grader Sydney Olstad with a 110 for 18th place.
Hot Springs head coach Dave Merrill said he was very proud of his team for qualifying for next week's state meet in Dell Rapids.
Also last week, the Hot Springs golfers competed in the Douglas JV meet held on May 23 at the Prairie Ridge Golf Course.
Schools entered-Douglas, Spearfish, Pine Ridge and Hot Springs.
Host Douglas won the team title with a four-person, 18 hole score of 487, followed by Spearfish in second place (533) and Hot Springs in third place (542).
The medalist honors went to Douglas’s Dakota Parks with an 18-hole score of 110, Spearfish’s Kylee Jo Symonds was second with 119, while Hot Springs' Allyson Kattke shot 120 for third place.
Other Hot Springs players included Ava Krush (134), Ciara Stewart (139) and Lyndsay Reetz (149).