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State golf: Mead’s Taylor Mularski, Panthers’ boys fall short in 3A title chase

UPDATED: Wed., May 25, 2022

There was an understandable sting in the moment for Mead senior Taylor Mularski and the Panthers’ boys golf team as they came up short Wednesday in pursuit of State 3A tournament titles.

A bit of the disappointment was eased knowing that it took a course record by a competitor to drop Mularski in the girls standings and Mercer Island posted its two best scores of the season to claim the boys championship over second-place Mead.

More of the sting will fade in light of the season’s accomplishments for the record-setting Mularski and the Greater Spokane League and District 8 champion Mead boys.

“As we look back, we’ll certainly be pleased with the year,” Mead boys coach Paul Peters said. “The guys are a little disappointed they didn’t stick around closer, but we would have had to play very well to beat Mercer Island. So you tip your hat.”

Mularski, who led by one after Tuesday’s 4-under-par 68 at MeadowWood, was 2 under on the front side but couldn’t get putts to drop on the closing nine.

Bellevue’s Berenice Stolte, playing in the group ahead of Mularski, birdied the last hole, drawing a loud cheer from spectators near the 18th green, for a 7-under 65 to take the title. Her two-round, 6-under 138 edged Southridge’s Jillian Hui (70-139) and Mularski (72-140) and Interlake’s Gigi Lund (66-140).

“On the back over the last five or six holes, just nothing fell,” Mularski said. “I didn’t have the speed, then didn’t have the line and then didn’t have the speed again.”

Interlake rallied with a 292 to win the team championship by 11 shots. Bellevue (610) was second and first-round leader Southridge (615) slipped to third. Mead finished eighth.

Mularski drained putts of 8, 11 and 25 feet on Nos. 2, 4 and 6, but her hot putter didn’t carry over to the final 10 holes when she had several good looks at birdie after quality shots.

“I feel like I was hitting it fine,” Mularski said of her ball-striking. “There was a couple of bad shots, but other than that it was pretty solid.”

Mularski’s season was packed with memorable moments, including course records at Horn Rapids and Liberty Lake, a 63 at Palouse Ridge, GSL Player of the Year and District 8 champion.

“Unbelievable,” coach Keith Ross said of Mularski’s career. “You rewind three years ago to a kid who was trying to eventually break 90, then 80 and now doing what she’s done this year.”

Mularski will be back at it this weekend, joining Stolte and future Gonzaga teammate Grace Lee representing Washington at the North Pacific Junior Ladies team matches at The Home Course in DuPont, Washington.

Bellevue’s Lee finished fifth at 142. Stolte arrived in Spokane after a seven-shot win last weekend at the Georgia regional to qualify for the Notah Begay Girls National Championship. Mularski and Stolte played together a few weeks ago when Mularski won the Washington Junior Golf Association’s Players Open at the Links in Post Falls.

“Super excited (for the future),” Mularski said. “I’m excited to keep competing, because that’s what I love to do.”

Senior Ty Anderson paced Mead’s boys with rounds of 71 and 72 at Liberty Lake Golf Course to finish tied for eighth. All five Panthers shot between 72 and 75 Wednesday for a two-day 585, nearly matching the team’s 584 last week at the same course in the District 8 tournament.

“Steady as she goes, that’s kind of been our mantra,” Peters said. “If you look at the two scores at districts and the two at state, it gives you a sense of who we were. They were all right in the same range.”

Mercer Island, which led by nine after the first round, shot 288 for a 16-stroke victory. Bellevue (591) was third.

Mercer Island senior Ethan Evans, who won the 2019 state title and has signed with Duke, finished at 3-under 137 to place second. Teammate and first-round leader Spencer Smith was third at 138.

Blanchet’s Max Herendeen cruised to the title by six shots, closing with a 7-under 63.

Cooke shares second in 4A

Gonzaga Prep’s Alex Cooke closed with a 74 at Indian Summer in Olympia to share second with Bellarmine Prep’s JJ Bordeaux at 142, one behind Redmond’s Akshay Anand.

Dillon Schrock (147) placed seventh as the Bullpups (623) took fourth, one shot behind Sumner.

Bellarmine Prep (592) rolled to the team title.

Amanda Nguyen (73-76) finished ninth, helping the Lewis and Clark girls to fifth place at Hawks Prairie in Lacey. Newport (Bellevue) edged Camas by three strokes for the championship. Union’s Jade Gruher (141) took the individual title.

2A: The Pullman girls finished runner-up behind White River at Tumwater Valley. The Greyhounds’ Lauren Greeny (78-148) was fourth, seven shots behind champion Brooke Gelinas of White River.

West Valley’s Spencer Cerenzia (79-158) finished ninth.

White River’s Zach Miller (142) claimed the boys title and Burlington-Edison won the championship trophy at Capitol City in Olympia. Pullman’s Trae Frederickson (157) was the top area finisher (tied for 23rd).

2B/1B: Dan Harrington, from Chesterton Academy of Notre Dame, a second-year school in Spokane, captured the state championship with rounds of 74 and 70 at Deer Park. Harrington had a three-shot cushion over Orcas Island’s Burly Hildreth.

St. George’s took third, led by sixth-place Matthew Longstreth (159).

Warden won the girls championship and La Conner’s Emma Worgum (144) posted a 17-shot victory. Northwest Christian’s Abby Veenstra was sixth and Liberty’s Maddie Haas placed eighth.

1A: Bear Creek took team and individual honors with Ryder Odem (65-75) defeating Cascade Christian’s Jacob Janho in a playoff at Indian Canyon. Freeman’s Ryan Russell (84-77) shared 14th.

Bear Creek also won the girls title. Charles Wright Academy’s Emersyn Walker (143) rolled to a 25-stroke victory. Newport’s Annie Huang (189) tied for 11th.

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