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Minnewaska streak over, but team forges on

Brianna Janu of Minnewaska watches the flight of an approach shot during the Willmar Invitational April 25 at Eagle Creek Golf Club. She and Sam Falk, Jenny Janu and Alexis Guggisberg have been the top scorers this season for the Lakers. <b>Tribune photo by Rand Middleton</b>

The Minnewaska Area Lakers girls golf team has been virtually unbeatable in the past five years, winning five straight state championships along the way.

So it was expected that the team would be upset to see the program's 78-match win streak end April 27 at the Alexandria Invitational when they placed third. That marked the first time a team had finished ahead of them in any meet or tournament since May 16, 2006.

"Most of the girls were petty upset when they didn't get first," said Minnewaska Area coach Peggy Falk. "But I told them that there aren't many other athletes in the country that can say their record is 78-1. Since then, they seem like a much more relaxed team. The pressure is totally off them."

But that doesn't mean the team has lost their edge. They won the next two West Central Soluth Conference meets by 30-or-more strokes. The Lakers have now won 41 straight conference meet and 31 straight in the West Central South.

Red Wing, which finished second to Minnewaska by 15 strokes in last year's Class A meets, finished first at the Alexandria Invite with a score of 333, with Wayzata finishing second with a 342. The Lakers shot 347.

"The bullseye is now on Red Wing, which is what I prefer," Falk insisted. "The girls are now motivated to beat Red Wing again, hopefully at state."

Minnewaska plays in an invitational at Red Wing on Tuesday with a chance to avenge the loss.

"We all know it'll be tough to beat them at their home course," Falk said. "If our girls play to their potential, it'll be a good battle. But that's not what really matters to us. We want to just get to state and have another crack at Red Wing there."

And if they can prevail at state again, it would make six straight championships. The loss this season hasn't crumbled the dynasty yet.