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The Gazette KCRG
Posted May 27, 2012
Hansen closes prep career with third state appearance

Jenna Hansen has the ride picked out. Her dream car is a Ford Mustang.

Two strong rounds of golf and her dad, Gary Hansen, might have to pony up.

The HLV senior has a long-running agreement with her dad that if she won a state title he would buy her a car. Hansen will take her last shot at collecting on the wager when she competes in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Class 1A state golf tournament Tuesday and Wednesday at River Valley Golf Course in Adel, starting at 9 a.m.

“That would be awesome,” Hansen said. “It’s always been our joke for many years now.”

She has been around golf for many years thanks to her father. Hansen said she rode along with him for rounds as young as 2 years old, having her car seat strapped into the cart. She began to compete in tournaments about the age of 7. The whole family plays golf but Hansen said it is a source of bonding for her and her dad.

Hansen, who holds a nine-hole average around 44, will play next year at AIB College of Business in Des Moines.

“I have to work at it, but it does come natural,” said Hansen, who also played volleyball and softball at HLV. “It’s just something I’ve done my whole life.”

Hansen is making her third state tournament appearance, earning first-team all-state honors the last two seasons. Hansen placed 16th last season.

“It would be great to be in te top five,” said Hansen, fifth in the Iowa High School Golf Coaches Association performance based rankings. “I just want to do my best, not regret anything and leave anything on the course.”

Driving is a strength and putting demands much of her focus. The mental game will have an impact on her golf game. Hansen said a positive attitude will be necessary to counter a tendency to be hard on herself.

“Being positive is my main goal,” Hansen said. “I know how good I can be, and I love the game. Being hard on myself is something I do.”

For the second straight year, Hansen won’t be alone in the field. The regional champion Warriors team has qualified again helped by sophomore Taylor Tanner and senior Chelsea Gryp. Hansen prefers company as opposed to playing solo.

HLV was fourth in 2011, and are currently ranked behind only defending state champion Algona Garrigan.

“I think it’s going to be a blast,” Hansen said. “We’re just going to go out and give it our all, hoping we can do it.”

Unlike Hansen, Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Megan Furnish and Cedar Rapids Washington’s M.J. Kamin will be their school’s lone representative in their first trip to state. The 4A and 3A state meets will be held at Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny.

Furnish, a two-time IHSGCA first-team all-state selection, ripped the monkey from her back, claiming regional medalist honors at Ottumwa last week. Now she can relax and play the game she loves.

“It’s kind of a relief,” said Furnish, who will play at Southwest Missouri State next year. “It’s like I already made it now let’s go and try to shoot the best that I can and see what happens.”

Reaching the field was not the final accomplishment. Work still remains to be done.

“Her goal is to place high at state or to win it,” Jefferson Coach Dan Ray said. “That’s our next step.”

Kamin is in her first year of varsity competition. She earned her berth by placing fourth at the regional. The Warriors sophomore, who also plays soccer, would like to end the season on a high note.

“This year my goals were to make first-team all-(Mississippi Valley Conference) and qualify for state,” Kamin said. “I’ve been talking to my coach (Dennis Geottel) and having the best round of my season would be pretty great for me.”

The 2A state meet also will be held at River Valley. Dyersville Beckman will attempt to claim the elusive state title she has missed the last two years by one stroke. The Blazers also will contend for the team title, placing fourth last year. Cascade also returns to the state meet.

South Tama and Williamsburg qualified in the 3A field. Independence’s Megan Black and Decorah’s Molly McDonough earned spots in the individual field.

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