Polson’s Thiel, Emerson earn all-state golf honors

by John Heglie, special for the Leader
| October 6, 2020 4:25 PM

The Mission Valley reaped a pair of all-staters when senior Ellie Thiel and freshman Hunter Emerson of Polson placed among the top 15 at the two-day Class A state golf tournament Thursday and Friday at the Butte Country Club.

Thiel improved her second day score by seven strokes to move up three spots from tied 14th after first-day action. Emerson and fellow Pirate Torrin Ellis were initially tied at 24th after first-day action with dual 87s. But Emerson shaved 10 strokes off his first-day tally to leapfrog up the leaderboard 11 spots and finish 13th.

Emerson's 10-stroke improvement tied for third-best second-day recovery with Johnny Nix of Whitefish among the boys field, behind a 17-stroke leap by Kaden Hardin of Miles City and 15-stroke surge by Bryce Hayes of Livingston.

Polson’s Ellis and Carson Hupka and Carly Garrick were models of consistency. Hupka and Ellis turned in duplicate scores over the course of both days, while Garrick was within one stroke of her preceding day tally.

Thiel tied for 10th in 2018 for all-conference kudos at the Western A Divisional her sophomore season, and finished tied for eighth last year for all-state honors. The seasoned senior put together a complementary set to close out her prep postseason finales with her all-state flourish, coupled with her preceding sixth-place finish at divisionals for all-conference acknowledgement.

Ronan had a half dozen golfers competing among the field, four Maidens and a tandem of Chiefs. Macao Jackson was tied at 10th after first-day action, but was displaced among the standings when other competitors among the field posted lower scores the second day.

Dillon Pretty On Top and Ruben Couture of Ronan posted scores consistent with those carded over the course of earlier tournaments. But to contend among the field of these male entrants required average numbers among the low-80s to have a shot at making the leaderboard.

The Lady Pirates placed fifth among the team standings, while the Pirate boys finished sixth. As anticipated, the Whitefish Bulldog boys took home the team title, while the Laurel girls were three-peat team titlists. Bulldog Cameron Kahle took home medalist honors after edging fellow Whitefish teammate Billy Smith in a one-hole playoff. Macee Greenwood of Corvallis took individual medalist honors for the girls.

"PHS Golf wrapped up a successful season with two all-state players, five all-conference players, and two team divisional trophies,” Polson head coach Cameron Milton said. “We will be returning eight varsity players next year, so the future looks bright for the Pirates."

2020 State A Tournament

Butte Country Club

Thursday-Friday, Oct. 1-2

Girls

Team scores

1, Laurel (Lau) 338-342-680; 2, Sidney (Sid) 395-381-776; 3, Livingston (Liv) 404-404-808; 4, Whitefish (Wf) 417-392-809; 5, Polson (Pol) 424-387-811; 6, Corvallis (Cor) 421-405-826; 7, Ronan 426-424-850; 8, Hamilton (Ham) 439-429-868; 9, Havre 493-489-982; 10, Lewistown 519-490-1009; <4: Frenchtown (Fr), Stevensville (Stv).

Top 15 finishers

1, Macee Greenwood (Cor) 75-78-153; 2, Alivia Webinger (Lau) 80-80-160; 3, Hannah Adams (Lau) 82-86-168; 4, Haylee Adams (Lau) 84-85-169; 5, Karly Volk (Sid) 88-85-173; 6, Aly Rose (Ham) 91-89-180; 7, Sarah Karanjai (Sid) 94-88-182; 8, Breana Jensen (Lau) 92-91-183; t9, Harper Armitage (Fr) 91-93-184; t9, Karsyn Swigart (MC) 96-88-184; 11, Ellie Thiel (Pol) 99-92-191; t12, Ashlan Mortensen (Liv) 96-96-192; t12, Kendall Reed (Wf) 104-88-192; 14, Jasmine Oyler (Stv) 99-95-194; 15, Anyah Cripe (Wf) 102-94-196;

Team individual scores

POLSON (811) – 11, Ellie Thiel 99-92-191; 17, Ashley Maki 109-88-197; 30, Kylee Seifert 104-108-212; 35, Clare Konen 120-99-219; 38, Carly Garrick 112-111-223.

RONAN (850) – 18, Macao Jackson 96-102-198; t26, Alyssa PrettyOnTop 106-102-208; t36, Kylee Neimeyer 110-112-222; t36, Madyson RunningCrane 114-108-222.

Boys

Team scores

1, Whitefish (Wf) 306-306-611; 2, Billings Central (BiC) 324-321-645; 3, Laurel (Lau) 328-332-660; 4, Livingston (Liv) 343-345-688; 5, Hamilton (Ham) 352-339-691; 6, Polson (Pol) 345-348-693; 7, Frenchtown (Fr) 351-360-711; 8, Havre (Hvr) 252-360-712; 8, Lewistown 350-373-723; <4: Corvallis (Cor), Ronan, et.al.

Top 15 finishers

t1, Cameron Kahle (Wf) 72-74-146; t1, Billy Smith (Wf) 70-76-146; 3, Carson Hackmann (Lau) 72-76-148; 4, Nick Pasquarello (BiC) 77-76-153; t5, Josh Warp (Hvr) 80-77-157; t5, Luke Schlimgen (Cor) 82-75-157; 7, Conor Walsh (BiC) 80-78-158; t8, Reese Jensen (BiC) 78-81-159; t8, Marcus Kilman (Wf) 78-81-159; t10, Tanner Hanson (Ham) 79-81-160; t10 Johnny Nix (Wf) 85-75-160; 12, Kade Ewalt (Lau) 82-81-163; 13, Hunter Emerson (Pol) 87-77-164; t14, Danyk Jacobsen (Liv) 82-83-165; t14, Landen Gradwohl (Lau) 84-81-165; Asterisk () denotes medalist after 1st playoff hole.

Team individual scores

POLSON – 13, Hunter Emerson 87-77-164; 19, Carson Hupka 85-85-170; t25, Torrin Ellis 87-87-174; t41, Christian Lund 86-99-185; 63, Michael Smith 104-106-210.

RONAN – t47, Dillon Pretty On Top 95-95-190; 52, Ruben Couture 94-98-192.