GIRLS STATE GOLF: Dike-New Hartford completes climb to apex of Class 2A

Dike-New Hartford’s Ashley Dumler and Briana Weber have pulled the Wolverines along all year.

Out in the rain, on the court and around the course.

So it was only fitting the two did the heavy lifting once again at the Class 2A Iowa Girls State Golf Tournament at American Legion Golf Course.

Helping Dike-New Hartford secure its first title in school history, Dumler and Weber tallied a 2-3 finish Tuesday as the Wolverines wound up with a score of 690 – 53 strokes ahead of runner-up Pleasantville.

Reigning titleholder Alta-Aurelia (746) edged Nashua-Plainfield by a stroke for third, while West Monona took fifth (751).

The Wolverines continued their rise from fifth in 2012 to second last season before finally reaching the summit by a wide margin Tuesday. Much of it had to do with the leadership of Dumler and Weber.

“They’re two special players,” Wolverines coach Mike Soppe said. “They carried us today and they’ve been pushing us all year long. They always want to go out and play more. If it’s raining and some of the girls don’t want to go out, they do and the other girls follow. That got us to where we are, those two leading by example.”

Dumler was runner-up carding a 75-79-154 and Weber improved a stroke with a 78-77-175 for third as the multi-sport stars delivered on the big stage once again.

“They’re both successful volleyball and basketball players and they have the mentality of the big stage and understand it,” Soppe said. “They’re two of the biggest competitors I’ve met.”

Dumler attained her second top-10 finish, while Weber is a three-time all-state honoree. It was long time coming for a school that’s had plenty of athletic success across the board but had yet to break through on the links.

“We golf on the weekends, anytime, rain or shine we’re out there,” Dumler said.

“It’s the same with every sport at Dike-New Hartford, we want to win and that’s how we play.”

Nashua-Plainfield’s Sarah McMichael defended her state crown firing a two-day 10-over 152 with rounds of 75 and 77.

The junior started the day tied with Dumler at 6-over but struggled early with five bogeys on her front nine before coming back with just two after the turn to remain on top in 2A.

“My front nine started off a little bit rocky,” McMichael said. “I knew I needed to kick it back into gear and there were some holes I could take advantage of. I didn’t necessarily take advantage of them as I wanted but it still worked out to get the ‘W’.”

McMichael became just the second back-to-back 2A champ in state history and the first since MOC-Floyd Valley’s Mikkell Korver achieved the feat in 2000 and 2001.

Though getting No. 2 didn’t prove any easier than the first.

“It was tougher to get (this title), there’s better competition this year,” said McMichael, who held off Weber by a stroke in 2013. “There’s pressure and you have to expect it. You just have to roll with it and let it encourage you rather than take you down.”

Cascade’s Kate Coyle was six shots off the pace in fourth (80-78-158), while Hinton’s Rachel Grenko and Audubon’s Susie Bylund tied for fifth with identical two-day tallies of 83-78-161. Ogden’s Emily Rinehart (165) took the first of the final four medalist spots with just four strokes separating the quartet.

Along with Korver, McMichael joins Beckman’s Leah Willenborg (1990, ’92) and Hampton-Dumont’s Christy Wittmer (2006, ’08) as the only two-time 2A champs but has a shot to become the first three-time state winner next spring.

Though for now, thinking about a third can wait.

“Two state championships is more than you can ask for,” McMichael said. “It’s just a great feeling.”