FHS’ Kim, Pfingsten qualify for state

BUFFALO LAKE – Fairmont’s Emily Kim and Mitch Pfingsten each earned return trips to the Class AA state golf tournament.

Kim recorded an 18-hole round of 80 to place sixth overall in the girls division during the Section 3AA Meet on Thursday at Oakdale Golf Course, while Pfingsten fired a 2-over par 74 to earn a tie for fourth overall in the boys competition in Buffalo Lake.

Pfingsten opened his round on the back nine with a 36 before closing with a 38 on the front side to earn a spot in a three-golfer playoff for the final two individual qualifying spots.

Worthington’s Will Mulder claimed his top-five non-team members state bid by parring the initial playoff hole – the par-4 No. 1, while Pfingsten and New Ulm’s Jonah Cooper each recorded a bogey.

Pfingsten then captured the fifth and final individual boys state berth by sinking a birdie on the second playoff hole – the par-5 No. 9.

Pfingsten produced eight pars and connected for birdies on Nos. 11, 12, 16 and 17 during his stellar round.

New Ulm’s Kelton Schmitz fired a 2-under 70 to win the Section 3AA boys gold medal, Litchfield’s Josh Polingo reached state via a runner-up 71, while Minnewaska Area’s Brett Buckingham shot a third-place round of 72.

Schmitz and New Ulm fired a 302 to finish just three strokes off Marshall’s section-winning pace of 299.

Fairmont’s Joe Nordquist fired a round of 83, while Cardinal teammate Sam Havnen finished with an 88.

In the Section 3AA girls meet, Kim penciled in back-to-back nine-hole scores of 40 to net an 80 for sixth overall, but the fourth-best non-team member total of the day.

Kim connected for birdies on Nos. 3, 6 and 8 to complement six pars and only 26 putts to highlight her impressive round.

Minnewaska Area’s Jenna Janu carded an even-par round of 72 to capture the Section 3AA girls individual crown, while teammate Ashlyn Guggisberg fired a 78 to power the Lakers to the sectional team championship at 326 – 10 shots better than runner-up Marshall.

Marshall’s Jessica Blanchard and Hanna Peterson each generated 18-hole rounds of 78 to earn return trips to the Class AA state meet.

Litchfield’s Kennedy Sommerfeld netted a 77, followed by Kim’s 80 and New Ulm golfer Corinne McKeeth’s 81 to round out the sectional’s five individual state qualifiers.

Fairmont’s Cassidy Krusemark fired a round of 102 during Thursday’s sectional play.

Fairmont’s Emily Kim and the Class AA girls state field will tee off at 7:30 a.m. both Tuesday, June 10, and Wednesday, June 11, at Ridges @ Sand Creek golf course in Jordan.

Fairmont’s Mitch Pfingsten and the Class AA boys state field will take to the Ridges’ fairways in Jordan at noon on both days.