Houghton girls win Kiwanis Invite

MARQUETTE — The weather has not been kind to golfers this spring with the rain and cold keeping some off the links.

However that hasn’t been the case for the Escanaba Eskymos, who have gotten in some sessions and it showed Tuesday during the Kiwanis Invitational at the Northern Michigan University Golf Course.

The Eskymos won the 10-team boys meet with a score of 319 and head coach Brian Robinette said that extra time might have helped with their performance.

“I’m really happy with the boys,” he said. “I watched a lot of swings round into shape and we’ve been very fortunate to play quite a bit this year. Our course is in good shape, so we’ve played a lot of balls. Now we’re just fine tuning some things. I have a smart group of kids, so we’re going to get better.”

The host Negaunee Miners finished second on the boys side, 13 points behind the Eskymos, and senior Carter Mason was the medalist after shooting a 73 (+1 over par). Preston Maki took fifth for Negaunee with a 79.

“We did a good job of sneaking into second and Carter is always steady,” Miners head coach Dustin Hongisto said. “He plays nonstop in the summer and he lives and breathes golf. We lost a couple of guys, but we have three returning starters. We have two second place finishes so far, so we’re off to a pretty good start.”

Mason liked how his day went and says that he has high expectations for himself this year before playing for NMU this fall.

“I had a pretty good day,” he said. “I was putting really well and I hit my drives well too. I won a few meets last year and I want to win more this year since it’s my last one.”

Calumet took third overall, two behind Negaunee, while Houghton and Westwood rounded out the top five.

Individually, Escanaba’s Johnny Kositzky finished second with a 75 and Manistique’s Louis Berry took third with a 77.

On the 8-team girls side, Houghton was the champion with 368 points, just three ahead of Escanaba. The Gremlins also had four golfers finish in the top 10 with Kaaren Liston having the best performance as she took second with an 81.

“I’m really proud of my team,” Houghton head coach Ruth Ryynanen said. “It’s been a difficult season because we haven’t been able to get a lot of holes in, but they came out and played really strong. I think we’re ready for the rest of the year.”

Escanaba’s Paxton Johnson was the girls medalist after shooting a personal low 77. Robinette was pleased in how Johnson bounced back after struggling in her previous outing.

“Paxton rebounded well from her last one,” he said. “She didn’t lose a tournament last year and we had a home event last week and she struggled. Sometimes that happens in golf and she put a lot of emphasis in doing better this time. She’s just hitting the ball at a really high level right now.”

Johnson, who had an impressive freshman campaign, was pleased with her outing.

“I think it went pretty well,” she said. “There were a few mistake holes, but I felt that I did a lot better than my last time on a course. I did a good job on the greens, so my short game is definitely the strongest part of my game right now.”

Manistique took third overall with Calumet and Munising finishing out the top five. The Mustangs’ Bailey Downs finished eighth with a 97.

Prep golf

Kiwanis Invitational

at NMU Golf Course


1. Escanaba, 319; 2. Negaunee, 332; 3. Calumet, 334; 4. Houghton, 345; 5. Westwood, 350; 6. West Iron County, 358; 7. Norway, 375; 8. Manistique, 376; 9. L’Anse, 381; 10. Munising, 400; Ishpeming, DNQ, Hancock, DNQ.


1. Carter Mason (NEG), 73; 2. Johnny Kositzky (ESC), 75; 3. Louis Berry (MAN), 77; 4. Ben Strong (HOU), 77; 5. Preston Maki (NEG), 79; 6. Trevor Denome (ESC), 79; 7. Cooper Koskinen (LAN), 79; 8. Trey Bociek (WIC), 80; 9. Trevor Anderson (NOR), 80; 10. Andrew Eskola (CAL), 82.


1. Houghton, 368; 2. Escanaba, 371; 3. Manistique, 453; 4. Calumet, 465; 5. Munising, 480; 6. Ishpeming, 499; 7. Norway, 503; 8. West Iron County, 504; Hancock, DNQ, Negaunee, DNQ, Westwood, DNQ.


1. Paxton Johnson (ESC), 77; 2. Kaaren Liston (HOU), 81; 3. Megan Dagenais (ESC), 85; 4. Payton Dube (HAN), 92; 5. Ellie Helman (HOU), 93; 6. Sam Henderson (ESC), 94; 7. Lindsay Sandell (HOU), 95; 8. Bailey Downs (MUN), 97; 9. Megan Boyd (MAN), 97; 10. Kaitlyn McKay (HOU), 99.


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