Only one person or one team can win the tournament title.
There were some earned by Mid-Columbia athletes Wednesday at the various Washington Interscholastic Activities Association state high school golf tournaments around the state — the Southridge boys, the Hanford girls, and the DeSales boys, led by medalist Ryan Baumgart.
But even those who did not win a championship came away proud of their performances with top-10 finishes.
When you factor in the weather — rainy and windy in western Washington and Spokane — it makes their finishes that much more impressive.
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For the Southridge boys, their 3A team title at Indian Canyon in Spokane was tightly contested — they edged Mount Spokane 96-94.
“We had a really good day,” Southridge coach Scott Stiles said. “The key for us, besides Nick Mandell and Daniel Cruzen playing their normal game, was Nick Atkin bouncing back today.”
Mandell finished tied for fourth with a two-round total of 146, while Cruzen tied for eighth at 148.
Atkin — a co-medalist in the CBBN 3A district tournament earlier this month — followed up his first-day 79 with a 73 on Wednesday for a 152 and a 14th-place finish. His score gave the Suns their team title.
“He was the first one up this morning for breakfast,” Stiles said. “He was ready to redeem himself.”
Atkin, who said he was hitting his irons better on the second day, felt the Suns completed the goal they set at the beginning of the season.“We really thought at the start of the season we could do this,” Atkin said. “We’ve all been playing together since we were young. It was an all-around effort by everyone.”
Cruzen said Atkin’s clutch play was the big key.
“He’s the reason why we won the title,” Cruzen said. “He was extremely upset after the first round because he felt like he didn’t play his best. We knew we could do it, but it was definitely a surprise because there are a lot of good teams here.”
Mandell, who had six one-putt greens Wednesday, compared with none on Tuesday, said the wait for the trophy announcement was intense.
“We knew it was between us and Mt. Spokane,” Mandell said. “They had five guys, and we had three. They announced us, and I just jumped up in the air and yelled.”
Pasco’s Samson Martinez finished 12th with a 151. Hanford’s Tanner Martin was 17th at 154, and teammate Alec White was 40th at 164. Juanita’s Frank Garber won the tournament with a 135.
Class 3A girls
At Esmeralda in Spokane, the Hanford girls knew the odds were good for a title with all five players making the cut after Tuesday’s first round.
The Falcons’ 1-2 punch of Kelsey Aiello and Taylor Kain-Godoy finished tied for ninth with 154. But Katie Stephens wasn’t far behind in 13th with a 159, and freshman Lacy Skwarek was 18th at 164. Senior Bri Hadler finished tied for 32nd at 173.
In the end, it wasn’t even close. Hanford had 121.5 points, while runner-up Mt. Spokane had 95.
“It makes for lots of points when everyone makes the cut,” Hanford girls coach Mike Neidhold said. “The kids are pretty excited.”
Kain-Godoy said the team wanted the title.
“We started off the year with that as our goal,” she said.
She and Aiello played evenly all season long.
“It’s pretty funny,” Kain-Godoy said. “I’ve actually played with Kelsey since we were 9 years old. We’ve always competed, but she’s my best friend.”
Neither player felt they played their best Wednesday: Kain-Godoy had a 79 and Aiello an 80.
“I was chipping all right,” Aiello said. “But I could not make a putt to save my life. It hurt my round.”
Sophomore Sierra Bezdicek of Mt. Spokane beat her sister, Savana, in the first playoff hole to win medalist honors at 146.
Pasco’s Neydeen Martinez and Southridge’s Catherine Warner tied for 27th with 169s.
Class 4A boys
Richland’s Jeffrey Marcum followed his first-day 76 with a 75 in cold, windy weather at Hangman Valley in Spokane.
That gave the junior a third-place finish with a two-round total of 151.
“Third is a pretty good finish, but the goal was to win,” Marcum said. “I came out very aggressive, but I had a lot of lip-outs on putts. I wasn’t hitting very good putts.”
Marcum was the only Mid-Columbian to make the cut.
Kyle Cornett of Jackson in Everett won medalist honors at 145, while Kamiak took the team title with 92 points.
Class 4A girls
Richland’s Kristin Strankman bounced back from a first-day 84 to score a 75, vaulting her up the leaderboard into a tie for 12th with a 159 at MeadowWood.
Bomber teammates Hope Neidhold (25th place at 166) and Kelci Robertson (28th at 168) also finished strong with an 85 and 87, respectively.
Walla Walla’s Jessica Huntsman also finished tied for 25th at 166, scoring an 81 on Wednesday.
Bellarmine Prep’s Alivia Brown beat teammate Jordan Ferreira in the second playoff hole to take medalist honors at 144. Bellarmine Prep easily ran away with the team title, scoring 172 points.
Class 1B/2B boys
Baumgart collected his second consecutive state title by firing a 78 at Oakbrook Golf and Country Club.
It gave him a two-day total of 151 — 10 strokes ahead of second-place finisher Josh Schireman of Rainier Christian.
Baumgart had a six-stroke lead going into the final round.
“I knew what to expect going into today, so I wasn’t as nervous,” he said. “I didn’t play very well today. People were asking me as I finished why I was mad. It was because I didn’t play well. I wasn’t worried about how many strokes ahead of anyone I was.”
As an added bonus, the Irish won the team title with 109 points to second-place Colfax’s 94.5. Teammates Bryce Scott (eighth with 172) and Jerod Konen (13th at 174) also placed in the tournament.
“It was really fun to win the team title,” Baumgart said. “It’s weird going into our gym at school and seeing all of the state championship banners for football and baseball. Now we have one for golf.”
Liberty Christian’s Jared Hoey shot an 88 in the second round, finishing at 167 for a fourth-place finish.
“I was just hoping to come into this year by medaling (top-eight finish),” Hoey said. “Last year I was 10th. So I was pretty happy with fourth.”
Class 1B/2B girls
Baumgart’s eighth-grade sister, DeSales’ Emily Baumgart, fired an 85 and finished with a two-day total of 171 at Oakbrook Golf and Country Club in Lakewood.
That was good enough for second, and one stroke behind medalist Kira Powell of Odessa-Harrington.
“I had some pretty bad shots that could have helped me,” Baumgart said. “I had a pretty good comeback at end, though. I was down five strokes at 16 got it down to two over the next two holes.”
Alexis Armijo of Tri-Cities Prep placed eighth with a two-day score of 206, while Warden’s Taylor Edson was ninth at 208.
Class 2A boys
Clarkston’s Tyler Carlson was medalist with a 147 at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway.
Othello’s Trevor Salsbury was 30th at 174.
Class 2A girls
Steilacoom’s Cherokee Kim was medalist at Lake Spanaway Golf Course, finishing with a 153.
Othello’s Delaney Towle was 32nd with a 196, while teammate Katelyn Andrews was 38th at 204.
Class 1A boys
Ilwaco’s Ross Kukula’s 149 was good enough to win medalist honors at The Home Course in Dupont.
Class 1A girls
Goldendale’s Bree Wanderscheid fired a two-round total of 146 to win the title at The Home Course in Dupont.