By Melissa Marohl, Sports Writer
While two members of the boys’ varsity squad compete at state this week, the Waconia girls’ golf team is reflecting on a strong season.
With solid outings in conference meets and invitationals, head coach Dan Benham said he felt good about the 2012 season.
"I felt as the season progressed we continued to improve as a team," he said.
Consistently finishing in the top six teams at each conference meet, the Wildcats top meet finish was second place at Crow River back on April 24, and again at Ridges at Sand Creek on May 10.
Benham said one of the team’s highlights of the season was winning the Annandale invitational.
As a team, the Wildcats finished fourth in the Wright County Conference. Benham said he would have liked to finish higher, as his team included three of the top 20 golfers in the WCC. Litchfield won the conference as a team, followed by Hutchinson and Holy Family.
Waconia freshman Meagan Rachey won the WCC for the third consecutive season, after winning nearly every conference meet. She finished the regular season 37 strokes ahead of second place Kennedy Sommerfeld of Litchfield.
"Meagan Rachey had a great season," Benham said, "shooting a 74 on the last day of sections and missing state by one stroke."
Junior Jenna Lund also advanced to day two of section play, but fell short of qualifying for state as well. Lund was 15th overall in the WCC this season after bringing home two top ten finishes at conference meets. Senior Laura Wagner was 18th in the WCC, with her season high score on the back nine of Albion Ridges on April 17, where she finished third.
Wagner, along with seniors Marisa Keidel and Madison Pietz, will not be returning to next year’s squad.
"All played several varsity meets and will be missed next year," Benham said.
But with the departure of only three seniors, the Wildcats will have an experienced team next season, as they will return Rachey and Lund, along with varsity players Brittany Johnson, Natalie Kohner, and Bridget Muehlberg.
"I look for a lot of experience to lead us next year," Benham said.