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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Prep golf: Mt. Spokane’s Gunnar Knutson wins District 8 3A boys title, equals school record with 66

Mt. Spokane’s Gunnar Knutson tapped in for eagle on No. 18 at Indian Canyon and celebrated with a couple of fist pumps.

The sophomore already knew he had won the District 8 3A golf tournament. The eagle also capped a 5-under-par 66 Wednesday, equaling the school record set by Sam Stiles.

“I hit it up there close and everybody started screaming and yelling and I thought, ‘Did it go in?’ ” said Knutson, who won by 15 with a two-round total of 133. “The fist pumps were for tying the record. Sam was a wonderful senior last year and always such a good friend to me.”

Senior Megan Billeter made it a Mt. Spokane sweep of 3A medalist honors. She shot a 3-over 77 for a 36-hole total of 161, 19 strokes in front of Shadle Park’s Olivia Clarke.

In 4A, Gonzaga Prep freshman Nate Plaster (73) took first with a two-round score of 143. Older brother Jack Plaster (70) and Central Valley’s Isaac Emerson (71) shared second at 145.

Lewis and Clark junior Skylar Kertsen (86) claimed the girls title with a 164, edging University’s Courtney Jackson (85-166).

Knutson, who shot a 67 at Downriver on Monday, loves Indian Canyon “because it’s kind of tight and urges me to hit my driver straight. I knew proximity to the hole was going to be a big deal, especially since the greens were punched and sanded recently.”

Knutson, and Shadle Park’s Mitchell Weipert and Sam Pauly secured state berths. Pauly won a playoff for the last spot.

North Central’s Grant McDonald, Izach Tabish and Logan Moeller, and Shadle’s Cobe Smart, Luke Bauernfeind and Cole Eberling will compete in regionals against six Mid-Columbia Conference counterparts next Thursday for four state berths.

Billeter has qualified for state four straight years.

“Today was good,” said Billeter, joined by teammate Katie Maher and Clarke as state qualifiers. “Monday (at Downriver) was a struggle. I just hit the ball well, putted well and played smart.”

Rogers’ Emma Torres, NC’s Morgan Smith and Mt. Spokane’s Brooke Fraser, Alexa Miller, Chloe Lavelle and Hayden Roberts advance to regionals with four state berths on the line.

Kersten’s three-stroke lead dissolved on the front nine, but she rallied on the back side to hold off Jackson.

“I played well, but I just had a couple of bad holes on the front,” said Kersten, who birdied No. 11 and No. 15. “I knew if I put together a good back side I could be OK.”

Kersten, Jackson, LC’s Darby Rickel and G-Prep’s Hannah Rieckers and Jordan Jaeger claimed state berths. Mead’s Camryn Culp, Lane Gustafson and Laurel Kassa, LC’s Caylee Garrison and Shannon Curran and Ferris’ Ashley Joss will compete for six state berths in regionals.

Plaster was pushed by brother Jack (70) and Emerson (71). Those three and Mead’s Nick Muxlow, who won a playoff, are state-bound.

“When I was on the course I saw (Jack) and asked him how he was playing,” said Nate, who shot a 70 at MeadowWood on Monday. “He doesn’t really like to say and I don’t really either when you’re playing well. He just gave me a little hand motion.”

G-Prep brothers Will and Jack Reeves, CV’s Zach Stocker and Riley Hadley, Mead’s Zane Mularski and LC’s Ben Stone advance to regionals with six state berths up for grabs.

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