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Tom Mix, Published September 24 2012

Twells sinks seven birdies to earn medalist honors at East Region golf meet

FARGO – Minutes after completing her round at the North Dakota Class A, East Region girls golf meet on Monday, Fargo North’s Annie Twells sprinted to the clubhouse.

The senior lefty was running to meet her mother, Pam Twells. The two shared a long embrace in the celebration of a moment each knew would happen one day.

Twells collected seven birdies and shot a 3-over 75 to earn medalist honors at Edgewood Golf Course.

It was her lowest score ever and came in a season that has had some ups and downs. So when Twells found out she had won the meet, she immediately searched out her biggest fan.

“I had been struggling this year,” Twells said. “I had three scores in the 90s. She thought this was the year I would just take it by storm. … This is the lowest score I have ever had so this is the cherry on top. I can’t wait for state.”

Twells’ score also keyed the Spartans to a first-place finish at 340 – nine strokes better than defending state champions Fargo Davies, which had won every regular-season meet this fall entering Monday.

“She was really focused,” Fargo North head coach Jolene Schue said. “It was like she couldn’t miss. It was really awesome to see her make back-to-back birdies on holes 14 and 15. It was just fantastic.”

Twells is the first Spartans player to win East Region medalist honors since Amanda Kaler in 2004. She birdied holes 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 14 and 15 and was

1-under through the front nine holes.

A year ago, Twells shot an 80 at the region meet and tied for third place, but said her game faltered at the end costing her some valuable strokes.

“I knew what I had to do,” Twells said. “Last year I had a total meltdown and I knew I couldn’t let it happen again this year. I have worked so hard this year and knew I had to get it. I guess seven birdies is what it took.”

Twells needed every stroke with Wahpeton’s Savannah Haselhorst turning in a 77 for second place.

Haselhorst, a freshman, shot a 1-over 37 on the back nine and said her performance is a big boost heading into the state tournament next Monday and Tuesday at Prairie West Golf Course in Mandan.

“My front nine was a little shaky, but my back nine was pretty good until the last few holes,” said Haselhorst, whose 18-hole average was 89.0 entering Monday.

Twells bested her season average (85.4) by 10 strokes.

“We always knew she was capable,” Schue said. “I have seen her play under-par in practice, but it just hadn’t quite come together at a meet this year. It did (Monday) and what a great time to do it at our regional.”

Twells said her putting was phenomenal. Monday erased the memory of some of the tougher scores she had turned earlier this year.

“I knew at one point it was just going to come together,” Twells said. “I needed it.”

The win over Davies was satisfying for the Spartans, but equally impressive is the fact the program has become a perennial East Region contender after not qualifying for the state tournament in 2008.

“It was just a great team effort and I’m so proud of the girls,” Schue said.

North had four total girls score in the Top 10.

Kenzie Jenson finished sixth with an 85 and Addie Long finished seventh with an 87. Hanna Berg carded a 93 to tie for 10th place.

Kathleen Marsh finished third with a 79 to pace the Eagles, who are defending state champions.

Ashley Bixby paced West Fargo – which finished third as a team – with an 81 to tie for fourth place with Davies senior Allyson Meyer.

East Region meet

At Edgewood Golf Course

Team scores: Fargo North 340, Fargo Davies 351, West Fargo 370, Wahpeton 376, GF Red River 381, Fargo Shanley 396, Grand Forks Central 402, Fargo South 416, Devils Lake 433, Valley City 466.

Top 10 scores (also All-East Region tournament team): 1, Twells, FN, 75. 2, Haselhorst, W, 77. 3, K. Marsh, FD, 79. 4 (tie), Meyer, FD, and Bixby, WF, 81. 6, Jenson, FN, 85. 7, Long, FN, 87. 8, Halverson, GFRR, 89. 9, Kraft, WF, 91. 10 (tie) Berg, FN, and DeBeltz, GFRR, 93.

Other finishers

Fargo North: Spiess 95, Sklebar 104.

Fargo Davies: J. Marsh 95, Woken 96, Gemar 100, Kosir 112.

West Fargo: Rheault 96, Peterson 102, Brown 107, Peterson 116.

Fargo South: Baumann 102, E. Grothmann 104, Johnson 104, M. Grothmann 106, Koskela 115, Weaver 119.

Fargo Shanley: Thimjon 95, Armstrong 97, Corbid 99, Wold 105, Dietz 108, Hanson 119.

Grand Forks Red River: Caoili 98, Hetletved 101, Seaver 107, Whalen 114.

Grand Forks Central: Ferguson 98, Anderson 98, Marshall 101, Fairley 105, Swenson 110, Reiter 115.

Wahpeton: Hibl 94, Strand 102, Rubish 103, Darwin 109, Breuer 119.

Devils Lake: Vose 103, Palmer 106, Brandt 106, Lewis 118, Jenson 139,

Valley City: Gilbertson 107, Ronningen 109, Oberlander 118, Scheuneman 132, Gustafson 140.

East Region senior athlete of the year

Allyson Meyer, Fargo Davies

East Region coach of the year

Heather Yarber, Fargo Davies

All-Eastern Dakota Conference (for regular season)

Kathleen Marsh, FD, (79.1); Allyson Meyer, FD, (79.7); Jennifer Marsh, FD, 80.0; Ashley Bixby, WF, (80.4); Addie Long, FN, (82.3); Annie Twells, FN, (84.0); Alex Woken, FD, (85.3); Keely Spiess, FN, 88.9; Savannah, W, (89.0); Bailey Gemar, (89.0).

Note: Top seven teams qualify for the state tournament.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562