Times Gone By

Blair golfers Mark Lippincott, clockwise from top right, Blaine Jensen, Mark Morrissey and Mark Gutschow qualified for the 1976 state golf tournament. Four golfers from Arlington also qualified for the first time in school history.

Editor's Note: “A Look at Times Gone By” is an in-depth look at weekly Times Gone By entries compiled since 2015. These articles will appear in each edition as local teams anticipate new seasons, whenever they should resume.

The Blair Bears had qualified for the state golf tournament before.

They'd won a championship in 1963 after all.

But what the Bears hadn't had was Washington County company on the state level. That changed in 1976 when Arlington joined the party.

Ken Misfeldt, Wayne Knoell, Tom Brainard and Pat Dennehy were one of 12 teams to qualify for the Class B State Grass Greens Golf Tournament. Misfeldt had qualified individually in 1975, becoming the Eagles' first-ever qualifier, but helped his AHS squad finish third at the 1976 district tourney for a state berth.

Blair, meanwhile, raced to the state golf tournament from the opening competition of the season when it set the school record for team strokes in a 9-hole triangular — 155. Mark Gutschow, Mark Morrissey and Blaine Jensen shot 38s, while Mark Lippincott carded a 41, in Hooper for coach Dave Carlsen.

From there, the Bears won the Twin Rivers Conference Tournament and finished second at districts.

At state, BHS tied for fourth in Columbus. Morrisey and Gutschow led the way with their 18-hole 81s, while Jensen carded an 82 and Lippincott a 97.

Arlington, meanwhile, took 11th at its first state tournament. Misfeldt and Knoell shot 86s at Elks Country Club, while Brainard had 91 strokes and Dennehy had 96.

While Blair would qualify at least 14 more times over the next 40-plus years, Arlington advanced to state as a boys golf team just one more time in 1998.

“It was a good team effort,” said Eagles coach Keith Fink after his team finished seventh with 670 strokes at Lincoln's Pioneers Golf Course. “Everybody contributed on one day or the other.”

Beau Kuipers and JB Harris each took 163 swings on 36 holes 22 years after their school's first state qualification. Eric Aldinger, meanwhile, carded a 175 along with Luke Kuipers. Sam Fletcher rounded out the effort with a 177.

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