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Rebels’ Loehlein a state qualifier, Peterson a stroke short

Moose Lake junior Lindsey Loehlein qualified for her first-ever state girls golf meet last week.

Loehlein, a smooth-swinging right-hander on the Moose Lake-Willow River varsity team since seventh grade, shot a two-day, 36-hole total of 181 at last Tuesday and Thursday's Section 7AA championships at Pokegema Golf Course in Grand Rapids.

While her state-qualifying score was good for fourth place among all individual participants last week, that was not the case last year for Loehlein, who finished three strokes shy of a state berth. Determined to improve her game, the Rebels' 17-year-old bought new clubs at the end of the summer and continued to play golf.

"Lindsay hit thousands and thousands of balls at the Cloquet Country Club last summer," said a proud ML-WR Coach Steve Mokros. "She takes this pretty seriously. And she's made her goal."

Mokros said he and his top girls golfer will spend this week at the Cloquet Country Club, preparing for the Class AA state girls golf meet, scheduled for June 10-11 at Ridges at Sandcreek in Jordan, Minn.

Her new clubs will likely be ready for the test.

"They are way better than my old ones," Loehlein said with a laugh.

"I'm really excited," she continued. "Since I started playing in seventh grade, my goal was always to make it to State one time. Now I can always say I've been there at least once."

Marc Peterson was also seeking his first state boys golf meet at the Section 7AAA championships Monday at Grand National Golf Club in Hinckley, but the Esko senior's 18-hole total of 75 was a stroke short of a three-way playoff.

Cloquet-Esko teammates Zack Strom and Nick Neve, both seniors, each shot a 79.

The usual dual-round event was cut short, as rain washed away last Saturday's originally scheduled preliminary round, putting ultimate pressure onto Monday.

Peterson, an athletic right-handed player who committed to play both football and basketball at the College of St. Scholastica next year, said he had opportunities to lower his score Monday, but was disappointed in falling short of State in what could have been his third appearance, each in a different sport.

"A couple putts lipped out, but I struck the ball well," Peterson said. "I would have loved to play in another state tournament, but I can't complain. I've had a pretty good high school career. I have no regrets."