Valley City State freshman Jake Richels shot a 2-over 74 Thursday as he earned Medalist honors at the Cougar Invite in Benson, Minn.
Richels, a native of Wahpeton, battled wet conditions as he posted his best round of the season, edging second place by one shot. His top score helped propel the Viking men's team to a tie for second place at the 10-team tournament.
"Jake truly showed his ability as a player today," Viking head coach Jamie Paurus said. "There were very wet conditions out there today, not to mention the course is tightly lined with trees. His course management was just outstanding, especially this being the first time he has ever played the course. This is a rare quality to have in a freshman."
Valley City's top men's team shot a 319 to tie for second place with Bethany Lutheran. Crown College won the team title with a 314.
Valley City's Shane Ost and Ben Sorenson both carded an 81 to tie for 13th, and Cody Colemer shot an 82 to tie for 17th.
Valley City took nine men's golfers to the tournament, and all nine finished 33rd or better in the 55-golfer field. VCSU's No. 2 men's team took 7th with a 338 total.
For the Viking women, Haley Christofferson carded a 95 to take 11th place, finishing 11 shots off the medalist score of 84. VCSU's Alyssa Tait tied for 22nd.
Up next: Valley City State will host its Viking Invitational on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 22-23. The two-day tournament will be played at CrossRoads Golf Course in Carrington, N.D.