Minnesota head coach Michele Redman announced Thursday the addition of two student-athletes, Alayna Eldred (Osakis, Minn./Osakis HS) and Karen Zhang (Richmond, B.C./MacNeil Secondary), to the Gopher women’s golf team. The duo signed their National Letters of Intent this week and will join the team next season.
“These two represent the kind of student-athletes that will greatly benefit our program,” said Redman. “Both are great students and have tremendous potential on the golf course to help us achieve our goals.”
Eldred has been successful competing within the state. She has placed third in the Minnesota State High School Championship each of the last two years, while also finishing third in Minnesota Junior PGA Valspar Player of the Year point standings. Eldred won five events and finished as the runner up six times this past summer.
“In Alayna, It's nice to add someone local,” said Redman. “She has played a lot of local tournaments and played well. She is a great addition for us – Alayna is a hard worker who will fit in with the team culture.”
Zhang has been a standout on the Canadian junior circuit, as she is ranked second in the class of 2018 for the province of British Columbia by Junior Golf scoreboard, which also has her ranked as the ninth overall prospect in Canada. This past year she has three top-finish finishes, including second at the B.C. Juvenile Girls Championship in August. Zhang tied for 15th at the Canadian Junior Girls Championship later that month.
“Karen has had a little bit more national exposure,” Redman said. “She has played in some AJGA events as well which will be good for us.”
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