ALHS golfers win 1952 state title

Published 4:09 am Saturday, May 8, 2010

This is the third article in a series of 11, honoring team state championships by Albert Lea High School athletes.

With their crowining as 1952 state golf team champions in May 1952, the Albert Lea High School boys swept all matches, together with victories in the Big Nine, districts and regional tourneys.

In winning the state title by 18 strokes, the Tigers avenged their second-place state finishes in 1950 and 1951.

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This team championship in golf represented the first title for ALHS since 1919 when Albert Lea won the state basketball tournament.

The Tigers’ great golfing record since 1948 stood at 45 consecutive victories in match play, four Big Nine Conference titles, four regional firsts and now one state championship.

Coached by Stan Breckner, the Tigers completed their undefeated 1952 season at the state meet on the University of Minnesota course. The team was led by Clayton (Bumper) Westrum, who captured medalist honors with a 73-79 — 152, shooting the second-lowest score recorded at the state meet in the past 25 years.

Other team members helping Westrum to the team trophy were Keith Fligge, Roger Nordahl and Craig Claussen. Fligge, the Region 1 medalist, finished in a four-way tie for seventh with 166. Nordahl shot 167 for eighth and Claussen shot 175 for 20th.

Continuing the fine golfing tradition at ALHS, the Tigers added a state championship in 1982. Coached by Ken Ulman, team members included Jon Christian, Jon Montei, Bill Banton and Rich Nelson. A number of individuals have won medalist honors at the state meet over the years.

During this year’s inaugural hall of fame event for Albert Lea High School, both an induction banquet on July 9 and a best-shot team tournament July 10, will be held at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club. Banquet tickets at $35 and team four-some sign up at $80 per person are available online at

The banquet and golf tournament forms can be printed out, completed online, or sent with checks to: ALHS Athletic Hall of Fame, C/O Education Foundation, P.O. Box 828, Albert Lea, MN 56007.

Banquet and golf registration must be in by June 25.

This fundraiser is established to hopefully reduce the participation fees for student athletes and encourage boys and girls to get involved in ALHS athletic programs.