Munising Seniors Add to Title Legacy

June 1, 2017

By Adam Niemi
Special for Second Half

IRON RIVER — The writing was on the wall for the Munising High School girls golf team — play your best golf.

On Thursday, the Mustangs pulled through with a commanding lead to win the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 2 title at George Young Golf Course.

Munising coach Bette Immel said her team’s performance was another notch in the golfers’ impressive athletic resumes.

“Just had a fantastic day. We’ve had three seniors on the team that have been playing since their freshman year; great way to end their golf careers,” Immel said. “This group has done some marvelous things. They won the state championship in tennis this year, now golf, track is Saturday (U.P. Finals in Kingsford) which a few of them will participate in the top few spots there. One of the girls has four straight championships in cross country as well. 

"It just couldn’t happen to a better group of girls. They’re great stewards of our community, great role models for others in the town. It’s one of these special things that doesn’t happen a lot. Just very proud of them.”

Bailey Downs was the medalist. Her 88 helped the Mustangs to a 412 team score. Crystal Falls Forest Park finished a distant second with 500 strokes. Iron River West Iron County was third at 514.

Frankie Mattson also placed among the top 10 individuals for Munising with a 105.

“I think course management was a big thing — make sure they know the smart shot, not take chances and be too aggressive, so just play smart and I think they did that,” Immel said of the team strategy.

Payton Dube led Hancock with a 91 to finish individual runner-up.

Munising, Forest Park and West Iron County were the only girls teams who fielded enough golfers to qualify a team score.

Michelle Wiegand’s 108 paced the Wykons, tying at 11th overall with Munising’s Taylor Downs. Anna Malmquist shot a 111, tying for 13th with Munising’s Marissa Immel.

Alexis Bailey’s 101 was good for a fourth-place medal for Painesdale-Jeffers.

Newberry’s Riley Burton shot a 100 to earn a third-place medal.

West Iron coach Mark Martini said the Wykons’ roster turnover to youth this year from experience last season could mean well for the future.

“Our girls are not only young for the most part, in some cases they have been holding a golf club for about 12 weeks total,” Martini said. “We have come a long way. I am just hoping they stay with it for the summer, and we will probably be a good team. We were second in the state last year; this year we’re kind of starting all over.”

Full results will be linked when available. 

PHOTO: Munising's Bailey Downs watches a putt during her run to the medalist honor Thursday. (Photo by Adam Niemi.)

Pederson Wins Memorably, Ontonagon Ascends Again in 'Phenomenal' Fashion

By Jason Juno
Special for

May 30, 2024

ESCANABA – Big Bay de Noc’s Camryn Pederson carded an 89 on Thursday to win the Upper Peninsula Division 3 Final individual champion and become the first U.P. champion to clear 90 since 2019.

“It feels really good,” she said. “I tried my best to golf as good as I could today, and I’m really glad that it came out the way it was. It’s a good way to end my senior year.”

She said she liked the open course that was low on hazards at the Escanaba Country Club. And she did most things well during her round Thursday.

“I think I minimized my putts. I only one or two-putt most of the holes,” Pederson said. “And my drives were really good.”

She became the second golfer from Big Bay de Noc to win a U.P. Finals individual golf title. Samantha Guertin won Division 3 in 2006 with a 90.

Pederson’s team was seeking its first title since 2005 after finishing runner-up last year, but finished second to a school where girls golf has pretty much always been strong – Ontonagon.

Ontonagon celebrates its latest girls golf Finals championship.When the MHSAA first separated the U.P. Finals into separate classes, Ontonagon won the first 10 Class C-D championships, from 1978 to 1987. When Class D got its own U.P. championship tournament, the Gladiators girls won the first four, part of a five-year run of titles from 1994 to 1998. When classifications changed again in 2001, and the name of the smallest group of schools changed from Class D to Division 3, Ontonagon didn’t stop winning, racking up seven more Finals championships.

On Thursday, the Gladiators made it eight wins in Division 3 and 23 overall.

Two of their golfers finished under 100 – runner-up Madyson Pantti carded a 94, and Sam Bailey had a 98. All five finished among the top 10 individuals. Summer Stites’ 100 was good for a fourth-place tie, and Olivia Lockhart and Shayna Stites tied for 10th with 108s.

It was the first U.P. Finals golf championship for all of them, including coach Jim Jessup. The Gladiators’ last team wins came with back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019.

Ontonagon repeated as Copper Mountain Conference champion this year. The Gladiators had finished third last season at the U.P. Division 3 Final and outshot Big Bay de Noc on Thursday by eight strokes, 400-408. Ontonagon shot 36 strokes better than at last season’s Final, and every golfer shot under 110, which Jessup called “phenomenal.”

“I think the girls just worked really hard to better themselves,” he said. “Their stroke play was better, their consistency was better.”

Pantti improved her score by eight strokes from last year’s Final. The junior will have another shot at an individual championships in 2025, but she had a lot to be proud of this time with her runner-up finish that led the Gladiators to a team title.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “It was something that we’d been looking forward to all season. We’ve done good in a lot of our meets, and I thought this was a really good year for us.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Big Bay de Noc's Camryn Pederson follows her drive on No. 4 on Thursday at Escanaba Country Club. (Middle) Ontonagon celebrates its latest girls golf Finals championship. (Photos by Jason Juno.)