Five MHS golfers named all-state

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton golfer Kate Meier was named first-team all-state and was the Big Eight Conference’s Player of the Year for a second straight season./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s girls golf team had an unforgettable season on the links, winning the WIAA Division 1 state tournament last month.

The Cardinals also had a historic year when it came to postseason honors.

Middleton’s top five golfers all earned some form of all-state honors, as well as all-Big Eight Conference recognition. It marked just the second time in school history that all five Cardinal golfers were named all-state in the same season.

Middleton senior Kate Meier was named first-team all-state and first-team all-Big Eight. Meier was also the conference’s Player of the Year.

Junior Glenna Sanderson was named honorable mention all-Big Eight and second-team all-state, while sophomore Ellie Frisch was named first-team all-Big Eight and third-team all-state. Sophomore Milanne Dahmen was named first-team all-conference and honorable-mention all-state, while senior Makenzie Hodson was named second-team all-conference and honorable-mention all-state.

“I am so incredibly proud of the girls for their hard work this season,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “It is quite an accomplishment.”

Meier, a Loyola (Ill.) recruit, averaged 78.2 this season, nearly a 10-shot improvement from her freshman season. Meier finished seventh individually at state with a two-day total of 154, was third at sectionals with a 79 and second at regionals with an 82.

“Kate was the leader of our team in every possible way,” Halverson said. “When faced with adversity, she smiled and addressed it. When provided good times she talked about the amazing opportunity she had, and shined the light on her teammates.

“Kate Meier’s don’t just happen. Kate Meier’s make a choice to put everything about the team in front of their personal goals. Every successful team has a Kate Meier, and we are so happy to have had the original.”

Sanderson, who has battled bursitis in her feet for nearly two years and missed some late season matches, finished ninth at state with a 156 and tied for third at sectionals. Sanderson’s 18-hole average this season 79.9 after she averaged 85.9 a year ago.

“I know watching was hard for Glenna at conference and regionals,” Halverson said. “We all know she would have rather been out there, playing for the girls. However, we are confident it made her a better golfer.

“Personally, I gained so much confidence in Glenna with her sitting next to me, the words she said, the things she saw, how she talked about those things. She definitely grew as a golfer and a person her junior season.”

Frisch lowered her nine-hole average to 81.50 after averaging 88.50 a year ago. Frisch was fifth at regionals, sixth at sectionals and tied for 18th at state.

“Ellie’s improvement on the course, although impressive, wasn’t her most noticeable growth over the last year,” Halverson said. “Ellie is respectful, quiet, reserved, and thoughtful, traits every parent or coach would love to see out of their kids/athletes.

“I love that Ellie has these traits, but what I’m most proud of is how comfortable she is being that person. Being a 15-year-old girl is not an easy thing, yet Ellie does it confidently and gracefully. Leadership comes in a lot of different ways — some point and talk, some nod and whisper. Ellie just does what people should do. We are so incredibly proud of her, and how she embraces being an amazing person and an outstanding golfer as well.”

Hodson was the poster child for improvement, averaging 86.8 this season after posting averages of 97.2 in 2017 and 89.4 in 2018. Hodson tied for 39th individually at state after finishing 11th at sectionals and 12th at regionals.

“Mak represents the best in what high school athletics can be,” Halverson said. “She had rounds that were incredible, and some rounds that she wished were a little better. In those rounds, the tough ones, I realized how successful Mak is going to be. She never gave up, she was always team focused, she looked to identify improving where she could, and worked on those areas.

“Mak is an amazing young lady heading into the field of medical care — and she should be. She is exactly what I want to see out of every doctor, nurse, PT, or PA, a kid that works hard, always wants to be better, is a joy to be around, and loves people.”

Dahmen averaged 86.4, an improvement of 3.5 shots from her freshman year. Dahmen also had a terrific postseason where she was third at regionals, sixth at sectionals and tied for 44th at state.

“Milanne’s attitude on the golf course exemplifies what I would like to see out of a student athlete,” Halverson said. “She is calm, composed, positive and always encouraging of her teammates.

“She doesn’t let the current state of her play affect those around her or influence how she treats her teammates. I believe her positive attitude helped her be so successful this season and I think it will carry through to future seasons as well.”

 

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