Stensrud’s 3-Win Season Leads Hellgate In Rainy State Finish


Stensrud tees off from hole eight on Friday at Green Meadow Country Club (Photo Courtesy of G- Marshall)

Brennan Labbe, Reporter

HELENA- Anna Stensrud medelled in all 6 AA Montana High School golf tournaments Missoula Hellgate participated in during the 2022 season. She won three of them too. With a 50% win rate, Stensrud led her team into a gritty state tournament at Green Meadow Country Club in Helena this past week. 

The week before, the 2024 graduate took Montana Western AA Divisionals by a margin of over 10 strokes. “Heading into State, I honestly had no expectations,” said Stensrud “The golfers in the east are tough competitors.” 

With the mindset of playing the course and not her competition, Stesnrud, as she has all year long, pin-pointed her renowned self-mentality. “My goal for state was to play my best regardless of the outcome.”

The Knights’ outstanding junior went 82-78 for a total of 160- two day total score in Helena. She was one of only four people in the field to shoot in the 70’s on the windier, rainier, and colder second day. She had two birdies on day two – both occurring on the back nine, paired with a couple of sparse bogeys. It was a testament to Stensrud’s determined psyche, to save her round and break 80, after needing a better back nine than her starting front side. “The weather conditions were tough. I didn’t have a stellar front nine, and honestly didn’t know where I stood compared to other girls.” Like she has proven all year, Stensrud held her own and bared down for her Junior finish. “I ended up battling the weather, and I had a great back nine leaving the day satisfied.” 

Stensrud beat out every girl in her group the second day, which wasn’t a surprise – she hasn’t come in last in her grouping in every round she has played in this year. Her lowest place of the year was arguably better than most in the field’s best. It was for 5th in her first tournament of the year back in August at Great Falls. Every round since then has only gone up. “My golf game was on a different level than it has in the past couple years,” explained Stensrud. “I put in so much work in the off season, and it was so rewarding to have the season that I had this year.” 

Looking back on an unbelievable 2022 run, in her senior season Stesnrud looks to keep up her torrid pace for the Hellgate Knights and build off of three years under her belt. With state being held in Billings next year, all eyes are on what Stensrud can accomplish in her final season in red and gold. “I’m as motivated as ever heading into my final season,” said Stensrud. Even more work, preparation, and motivation will go into one final push in the offseason preliminary to fall of 2023. “I’m primed and feeling confident with my game at the highest level it can be.” 

Anna Stensrud defied all odds for Missoula Hellgate in 2022. She jumped from medalling honors, to First Team All Conference, and finally First Team All State. In addition she led her team to a first place finish in the Western Divisional AA tournament in Kalispell. Follow her journey next year through her final season, looking at the bright future that lights her path ahead!