Girls golf: Ponies continue winning ways in SEC

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WOODBURY – Compared to the previous Suburban East Conference meets this season, Stillwater’s victory on Thursday at Prestwick Golf Club was practically a nail-biter.

The No. 1-ranked Ponies turned in a score of 161 to finish 13 shots in front of runner-up Roseville – Stillwater’s narrowest margin of victory in six conference events this spring. The Ponies, who enjoy an 18-point advantage in the league standings, have swept conference meets by an average of 18.6 shots.

Cretin-Derham Hall’s Celia Kuenster claimed medalist honors with a 2-under par 34, but Cassie Deeg of the Ponies was just one shot back at 35 as the defending individual state champions continued their season-long individual battle. Hailey Boner was not far behind as she carded a 37 for the Ponies while Alex Zeuli (43) and Amanda Wolf (46) completed the scoring with solid rounds.

"Once again we played steady, with Amanda continuing to improve," Ponies coach Mike O’Rourke said.

Stillwater has won eight of its 10 meets this season, losing a tie-breaker to finish second in the season opener and then placing seventh earlier this week at the prestigious Red Wing Invitational. The Ponies rebounded nicely with another strong conference showing on Thursday.

Team standings

1. Stillwater 161; 2. Roseville 174; 3. Mounds View 181; 4. Woodbury 182; 5. East Ridge 185; 6, tie, Hastings 190 and Cretin-Derham Hall 190; 8. Park 194; 9, tie, Forest Lake 197 and White Bear Lake 197.

Stillwater results (par 36)

Cassie Deeg 35, Hailey Boner 37, Alex Zeuli 43 and Amanda Wolf 46. Individual medalist: Celia Kuenster (C-DH) 34.

SEC standings

1. Stillwater 54; 2, tie, East Ridge 36 and Mounds View 36; 4. Woodbury 32; 5, tie, Cretin-Derham Hall 31 and Roseville 31; 7. Forest Lake 19;; 8. Hastings 18; 9. Park 11; 10. White Bear Lake 2.