JORDAN — Mankato East is in good position after the first round of the state tournament, and so is Carter Haley.
The Cougars opened with a 306 and are six strokes off the lead after the in the first round of the Class AA boys and girls golf meet Tuesday at Ridges at Sand Creek.
Providence Academy is in first place, though six teams are within striking distance after 18 holes. Fergus Falls shot 308, while Blake and Marshall both had 314. Virginia/Mt. Iron/Buhl had 315, and Staples-Motley is at 319.
"I think we put ourselves in pretty good position," East coach Nate Fuller said. "We're definitely in the mix."
The same can be said for Haley, a junior who shot 71 and is tied for second. He is only two shots from the lead, held by Austin vanSytzama of Delano, after making five birdies.
"I usually don't make that many birdies, but I usually don't make four bogeys, either," Haley said. "It all worked out.
"My game is pretty good now, I just have to make a few putts. There's a lot of good players at the top of the leaderboard so it should be fun."
Chris Sadaka added a 76, and Jon Bundy shot 79. Josh Sloniker had an 80.
"I hope we can all put together another good round and see what happens," Carter Haley said. "I think we have a chance."
Carson Haley added an 81. Ryan Kothoff, who shot 83, made an eagle on the par-5 18th hole, his ninth of the day. His shot from 260 yards out in the rough hit the pin, rattled around and nearly dropped for the rare double-eagle.
"We wanted to post a a good number that would make us competitive," Fuller said. "We did that. The guys played hard. It was up and down out there, but they kept battling and finished the round well."