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Darlington/Cuba City drives to conference title
SWDarl-CC girls golf team
THE DARLINGTON/CUBA CITY girls' golf team captured the 2011 SWAL-SWC championship with a strong showing at the conference meet in Prairie du Chien on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Members of this year's Lady Redbirds team include, front row, from left to right: Shelby Poss, Kaitlyn Wall, Naomi Black and Sami Poss. Back row: Nikki Zimmerman, Tina Kurschner, MariKate Knellwolf and Kayla Paquette.

     PRAIRE DU CHIEN – No doubt about it, the Darlington/Cuba City co-op girls’ golf team was the cream of the conference crop this season.
    The Lady Redbirds blew away the competition at the 2011 SWAL-SWC Meet, posting four of the top five individual scores to capture the conference crown by a mind-blowing 100 strokes at the Prairie du Chien Country Club on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
    “Winning the conference was one of our goals from the start. Our play has been pretty steady all season,” said Redbird head coach Gary Ringen. “All of the girls have improved their scores greatly this year. All have scored under 60 during a round and six have scored in the 40s. Four different girls have been medalist in a meet this year. They are a real balanced group.”
    The Redbirds (28-7 overall, 14-0 in conference play) took home the team title with a combined score of 407. Lancaster, the two-time defending league champions, was a distant second with 507 strokes, followed by Southwestern at 520 and Prairie du Chien at 533.
    Junior Naomi Black earned medalist honors with her 18-hole round of 96 to help the Redbirds win their first conference team championship since 2008 and become the first Redbird golfer to claim an individual championship at the SWAL-SWC Meet since her older sister, Natalie, won back-to-back titles in 2003-04.
    Senior Shelby Poss was second overall with a 100 and junior Nikki Zimmerman was third with a 104 for the ‘Birds, while junior Kayla Paquette finished fifth with a 107 to complete the team scoring for the champs.
    Lancaster’s Ella Marcue placed fourth overall with a 105 to lead the Flying Arrows, while Cierra Nicholson paced the Blackhawks with a 118 and Nicole Brotzman led the Wildcats with a 119.
    “Another goal of ours is winning 30 matches, and that is now easily within reach,” Ringen declared. “And, another one of our goals was to advance to the sectional as a team. We are ranked fourth out of the nine teams (at sectionals), so if we take care of business and just shoot our average we should be going on.”
    Darlington/Cuba City opened the post-season at the 2011 WIAA Division 2 regional girls’ golf meet at the Lancaster Country Club on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The results of that meet were not available at press time.
    The top four teams and the top three individuals not on those teams at the meet advance to D-2 Sectional competition to be held at Wisconsin Dells’ Turners Turn on Tuesday, Oct. 4, starting at 9 a.m.
    “Whatever happens, this has been a really exciting and enjoyable year. These girls are a truly remarkable group of young women. It makes coaching very enjoyable,” added Ringen.

Team standings: Darlington/Cuba City 407, Lancaster 507, Southwestern 520, Prairie du Chien 533.

Medalist: Naomi Black, 96.

Redbirds Varsity Results: Naomi Black 96, Shelby Poss 100, Nikki Zimmerman 104, Kayla Paquette 107, Sami Poss 115.
At Prairie du Chien CC, Par 72