The Lanesboro girls' golf team is well prepared for 2012, with four seasoned golfers from last year's superb squad, head coach John Smith said.

The Burros have quite a tradition to uphold, having scored 50 straight SEC dual meet victories dating back to 2006 (They were 8-0 in the SEC last season, 28-8 overall).

Returning starters Paige Hungerholt, Bryn Harmon, and Kiah Halvorson are seniors. Junior Johanna Bearson is another starter coming back with plenty of experience on the links. Ninth grader Kelsey O'Koren is also a returning starter. Other leading candidates this year include senior Karlee Ruen, and freshmen Mckenzie Hanson, Kendall Johnson, and Darian Wangen.

Hungerholt was voted Most Valuable Player by teammates last year (and in 2010). She was named to the SEC All-Conference team last year for an amazing fifth time. Hungerholt was the conference's top-ranked golfer for four of those five award-winning seasons, including 2011. She qualified for the state tournament three times, first as a team member of the 2009 section championship team, then as an individual in '10 and '11. She placed 10th at state in 2010 and 13th in 2011 (out of a field of 88 girls in Class A). Even though she finished lower in 2011, Hungerholt actually trimmed three strokes from her score on the (same) course.

The 2011 Most Improved Player was O'Koren. As an eighth grader, she worked her way into a consistent sixth varsity starter during the last half of the season. O'Koren's scores on nine-hole matches were in the mid-60s at the end of the season, a 30-stroke improvement over the course of the year.

Smith said experience and senior leadership will "hopefully carry us through the season." The challenge this year is, "We will not be a deep team this year. Our top core of golfers will need to perform well each match."

"We will want to push for the conference title once again and look to be golfing well at the end of the year and make a run at the sub-section and section titles, hopefully ending with another trip to the state tournament as a team again.

"The conference should be improved overall this year with some girls returning with some experience... (We) look to contend with Lyle-Pacelli at the top of the conference."

Smith is in his sixth year as head coach of the girls' team.