Unity Christian seniors Justine Malenke and Kolin Kroeze took home the eighth-place medal from the Class 1A coed state golf tournament on Tuesday at the American Legion Golf Course in Marshalltown.

The event provides a more relaxed format than most state competitions. Teams use an alternate shot format with girls hitting the tee shots on even-numbered holes and boys teeing off on the odd-numbered holes.

Malenke and Kroeze shot a 42 on the front nine and a 37 on the back. Their 79 was eighth out of 66 entrants.

Seniors Chloe Krommendyk and Lucas De Groot also represented Unity Christian at the event. They shot a 49 on the front and a 47 on the back for a 97 total. That put them in a tie for 45th.

“Both teams had a lot of fun playing the alternate shot format,” said Unity Christian coach Cody Harskamp. “It’s a fun way to finish up the high school golf season.”

Coaching changes

Northwestern College athletic director Earl Woudstra announced on Tuesday that Courtney Den Herder has been hired to take the head coaching position with the Red Raider women’s golf program.

A 2017 graduate and four-year letter winner for the Red Raiders, Den Herder most recently served as the head girls’ and boys’ golf coach for West Sioux High School the last two years. She helped one player qualify for the girls’ state tournament and led the Falcons to a fifth-place finish at the girls’ conference meet.

“We are pleased to have Courtney return to Northwestern as our head women’s golf coach,” said Woudstra. “Courtney was a key contributor to our team as a player, and I am confident she will be a great addition to our athletic department as she leads the women’s golf team.”

Den Herder enjoyed a standout four-year playing career for the Red Raiders, earning all-conference honors in 2016 and 2017. She was part of a Red Raider team that was GPAC runner-up in 2014 and finished with the ninth-best career scoring average in program history.

Den Herder takes over for Catherine Van Der Weide, who had been the women’s golf head coach since 2013.

In related news, Woudstra announced Northwestern also hired a pair of graduate assistants for its women’s basketball program.

Morgan Ediger is a 2019 graduate of Tabor College in Kansas, where she was a four-year letterwinner on the Blue Jays women’s basketball team.

She was an NAIA All-American as a senior.

Kacie O’Connor is a 2018 graduate of Wayne State College in Nebraska. She was a member of the Wildcats’ women’s basketball team for four years, serving as a team captain in each of her last two seasons.

Free fishing

You can still get in on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ annual free fishing weekend.

The event allows any Iowa resident to go fishing without a license on June 7-9. All other fishing regulations remain in place during the event.

“Grab your family and your poles, hook a memory and don’t let go,” said Iowa DNR fisheries bureau chief Joe Larscheid. “The memories are always bigger than the fish.”