It’s difficult to project which girls teams and individuals rate as 4A state golf tournament favorites, but the Greater Spokane League should have plenty of representation.
GSL regular-season and District 8 champion Mead and runner-up Lewis and Clark figure to be in mix for the team title. Mead’s Cami Culp, LC’s Darby Rickel and Central Valley’s Kami Twining could be factors in the individual race.
The tournament begins a two-day run Tuesday at Hangman Valley. Bellarmine Prep, winners of nine straight championships, failed to qualify under the new team scoring format.
Defending state champion Montgomery Ferreira missed the season with an injury after a skiing accident, but Bellarmine Prep teammates Julia Bordeaux (2018 state runner-up) and Jessica Zelasko (tied for ninth last year) are strong contenders for the individual crown.
Mead coach Keith Ross has tried comparing scores with other districts, but it’s been tough to track down comprehensive results from around the state.
“If I had to guess, I’d say Camas, Olympia, Kamiak, Kennedy, LC and us,” Ross said of team contenders. “We feel pretty good.”
Culp, the GSL player of the year, and District 8 champion Twining tied for 16th a year ago.
“I’ve played (Hangman Valley) multiple times,” Twining said. “It’s short and tight, which is good for my game.”
Rickel placed second in the GSL regular season and second at districts.
“She’s playing really well,” Tigers coach Michelle Grafos said, “and there’s still more to come.”
G-Prep boys aim for repeat
Gonzaga Prep nearly doubled the second-place finisher at state last year, but coach Dennis Dougherty expects the team scoring format to produce tighter competition at Qualchan.
“My biggest worry is when you put all the expectations on and take away all the fun,” he said. “This is a fun game, and these are great guys to be around, so let’s not lose sight of what’s important. I’ve told them one of my goals for them as a team is that they’re playing together when they’re my age.”
The Bullpups have been playing great together recently with a 19-under score at Deer Park and a two-day, 7-over total at districts at MeadowWood.
“I have a couple of friends from the west side (of the state) and they have really good teams. We’ve all been kind of talking about who is going to win,” District 8 champion and G-Prep junior Nate Plaster said. “If we play our games right, keep the ball in front of us and play simple golf, we have a really good chance to win again.”
Central Valley knocked off the Bullpups in a couple of GSL matches.
“Everything starts back at zero, so we have as good a chance as anybody,” Bears coach Steve Rasmussen said. “We just have to put two days together where everybody plays well. That’s the trick.”
The Bullpups have a talented, experienced lineup.
“We’ve played golf with each other basically most of our lives,” said Plaster, who finished third last year. “Honestly, we’re blessed to be on the same team, because we just have fun.”
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