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WARRIORS ATHLETE OF WEEK: Golfer hunts down medalist honors in opener

Whether she’s hunting or playing golf, Jenny Muesing is a precise shot.

The Brainerd High School sophomore, who likes to hunt ducks, deer and turkeys, happens to be the top golfer on the Warrior girls golf team. She cemented her status Monday when she shared medalist honors in the season opener at Wapicada Golf Course in St. Cloud.

Muesing carded 44 on the front and 40 on the back to share honors with Alexandria sophomore Amanda Bigger in the first of six Central Lakes Conference meets.

“I’ve played the course before and always favored the front nine,” Muesing said, “so I was pretty confident going into it. As I came around the back nine the distance was a little shorter, so I used my wedges more. I was struggling a little bit with my wedges, but it all worked out good.

“My drives actually were really working well. It’s always easier to have a nice second shot.”

Weather conditions were less than ideal but were typical for early spring golf in Minnesota. Temperatures were in the 40s and the wind was howling.

“There wasn’t any snow thankfully,” Muesing said. “It started off a little chilly and windy, but slowly the sun came out, things calmed down and conditions were a lot better.”

Warriors coach Brian Stark said Muesing, who’s already a four-year varsity golfer, is used to playing in adverse weather.

“I think as she’s gotten older she’s matured more,” he said. “She’s able to handle more diverse conditions on the course so she isn’t as easily affected. She has confidence in her game, which makes her more comfortable playing in any conditions.”

Already a three-time All-CLC golfer, Muesing aims for a higher showing at the Section 8-3A meet in June. Last year, she finished 13th at the Long Prairie Country Club.

“I was disappointed with how I played at the section,” Muesing said. “The section has always been a little harder for me. I’m hoping this year I get past the mental part of it.”

Her goal is to get to the state tournament for the first time. Former teammate Molly Hoppe was the last Warrior to qualify, finishing 18th in 2010 and 32nd in 2008.

“Jenny was disappointed when she didn’t do so well at the section meet and at the end of last season,” Stark said. “I’m really excited for her after our first meet, given the conditions. I wouldn’t have wanted to play in those conditions.”

Although she’s also a cross country runner and gymnast, Muesing plays golf whenever she has an opportunity — year round. She played in many tournaments last summer and practices in the winter.

“I started going to a few more higher-level tournaments with experienced golfers,” she said. “That helped me trying to compete.”

Stark said although Muesing is only a sophomore, she’s become a team leader because of how she plays the game and how she conducts herself at practice.

“She’s very focused,” Stark said. “Whether she’s playing a practice round or she’s on the range or on the putting green, she’s always willing to put the time in after practice if things are not quite right. She’s definitely motivated this year to do nice things in the conference as well as the section.”

Muesing’s next outing will be the two-day Pines/Preserve Invite Thursday and Friday at Grand View Lodge’s two courses.

“I’m excited for that since I know the courses well,” she said. “It will be a fun invite, not so stressful.”

Other notable efforts:

• Jackson Walters, track and field, set a meet record in the 110 hurdles and ran on the winning 4x200 relay at the Moorhead Invite.

• Nikki DeChaine, softball, had three hits and three RBIs against Sauk Rapids.

• Aaron Rich, Tommy Olson and Thomas Stoxen, boys golf, were co-medalists in a CLC meet at Oak Hill.