Sophie Pokela

Tomah’s Sophie Pokela puts from off a green during Monday’s MVC meet at the Golf Club at Cedar Creek.

The Tomah High School girls golf team pushed closer toward a Mississippi Valley Conference championship but didn’t deliver the knockout blow Monday against the Onalaska Hilltoppers.

Onalaska stayed alive in the MVC title chase by winning the second of two nine-hole matches at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska. Tomah edged Onalaska in the first match before having its string of three straight first-place finishes snapped.

The front nine was the home meet for La Crosse Aquinas; the second nine was Holmen’s.

Tomah coach Tonya Gnewikow said it was a challenging day of golf with wet and windy conditions. The weather forced a one-hour delay in the middle of the first match, and Gnewikow said the course featured “very tough pin placements left from the college girls tournament the day before.”

Tomah’s Sophie Pokela was the meet medalist on the front nine with a score of 44. Teammate Brin Neumann tied for third with a 47, Amelia Zingler was sixth with a 50, Jayda Zhu was seventh with a 51, Sarah Peterson was eighth with a 52 and Hannah Zhu was 10th with a 53.

Team scores: Tomah 192, Onalaska 195, Holmen 236, La Crosse Aquinas 241, Sparta 241, La Crosse Central/La Crosse Logan incomplete.

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The Hilltoppers flipped the script on the back nine shooting a 184, beating the Timberwolves by three strokes. Onalaska placed four golfers in the top five. Amber Nguyen earned medalist honors with a nine-over-par 44 followed by sophomore Kiya Bronston (46) while Allison Balduzzi and junior Malia McGarry tied for fifth with a 47.

Pokela and Zingler tied for second with Bronston.

Peterson tied for fifth at 47, Hannah Zhu was eighth with a 48, Jayda Zhu was ninth with a 49 and Brin Neuman was 13th with a 56.

Team scores: Onalaska 184, Tomah 187, Holmen 226, Aquinas 228, Sparta 246, Central/Logan incomplete.

The Timberwolves return to action Monday, Sept. 16 with an MVC match at Sparta, followed by another MVC match at Tomah’s Hiawatha Golf Club Sept. 20.

Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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