SPANAWAY - Not one, not four, not seven, not nine - 10.
In the past 11 seasons, the Bellingham girls' golf team has earned 10 state championship trophies.
It's unheard of, it's unprecedented - it's the dynasty that Bellingham coach Brad McKay refuses to let die.
The Red Raiders earned their fourth consecutive Class 2A State Championship on Wednesday, May 23, at Lake Spanaway Golf Course in Spanaway, with 152.50 points as they placed two golfers in the top five and saw all six earn a state placing - the first time that has happened since the state tournament allowed teams to qualify six golfers to the state tournament.
The second place team, Interlake, scored 62.50 points.
"It is kind of surreal every year," McKay said in a phone interview. "It is one of those things where it's been a great ride, but at the same time it's awful nice to know that the only way it can happen is if we have a lot of people supporting us. From the school to the local pros, parents and friends - we have had 40-50 players in our program the past 11 years and it's great. To be able to win and share those memories with all those kids and keep it going is great. This legacy is important to our program."
Brooke Branigan and Jenn Paul tied for fourth place after shooting a two-day, 36-hole, total 162.
It was more than those two. Jenna Reardanz shot 186 for 16th place, Madi McNeely shot 187 for 18th, Audrey Orem shot 188 for 19th and Katherine Rodgers, whose score was regularly left out during the regular season as the No. 6 golfer, shot 195 for 31st.
Branigan has been a part of the past three state championship teams. She said McKay deserves a lot of the credit for the Bellingham girls' golf championship legacy because of his ability to churn players out each year and still keep the unprecedented run alive.
"It's been really cool to see how different the teams have been since my freshman year," Branigan said in a phone interview. "(McKay) really encourages everyone and he makes sure everyone knows about the legacy and the history. He always knows what to tell you to keep you playing your best."
Branigan went into the second day of the tournament with hopes of winning a state title - which would have made it five times the past 11 years a Bellingham golfer won the individual title - but struggled on the 10th and 11th holes. She scored double bogeys on both holes after she said she came into the two holes at 4-over par.
Frustrated with herself, she said McKay and assistant coach Katie Sharpe - who won an individual state title with Bellingham in 2007 - talked her through it and helped her get back on her game. Branigan shot par the rest of the way to earn the fourth place medal.
"They told me to play my game," Branigan said. "Katie told me to just go for it and it all got better after that."
McKay said he was hoping one of his golfers would finish at the top for the first time since Claire Rachor did in back-to-back seasons in 2008 and 2009, but was pleased to see both Paul and Branigan put themselves in a position to finish high.
"Having done this for 11 years now, the second day is always harder than the first," McKay said. "But to be the state champion you have to play really well. You can't have any part of your game be less than stellar. Our kids put themselves in good position; it just wasn't their time. We had a couple facets of our game that just never really got going to the point where they were going to win. I'm still proud and to have two in the top 5 is certainly pretty great."
Bellingham's lone hiccup the past 11 seasons came in 2008 when it took third place and Sehome took first. Bellingham has five 2A titles the past six years and earned five straight 3A titles from 2002-2006.
Bellingham wasn't the only Northwest Conference team to place as Mount Baker found itself in a state placing position for the first time since the Northwest Conference was formed, said coach Mike Lembo.
The Mountaineers took seventh place overall with 29.50 points behind Laura Wilson and Nicole Chapman. Wilson shot 93 each day for 186 - 16th place - and Chapman shot 94 the first day and 105 the second for 36th place.
Lembo said he had no idea his young team would go from where it was to start the year to a state placing.
"It was really unexpected," Lembo said in a phone interview. "I looked at the team in the beginning of the year and was wondering if we could place in the top half of the conference. We ended up third, which I was amazed with, and then to place at state is a great way to end the season. I wasn't expecting it at all."
Squalicum's Esti O'Connell shot 184 to take 12th overall as was the third highest placer out of the Northwest Conference behind Branigan and Paul.
"She just carved up the greens and the fairway," said Squalicum coach Frank Inslee in a phone interview. "She played really intelligent with her short game, too. She had a great week."
Cherokee Kim of Steilacoom took the individual title after shooting 153.
CLASS 2A STATE TOURNAMENT
At Lake Spanaway Golf Course, Spanaway
Team scores: 1. Bellingham 152.50, 2. Fife 62.50, 3. Burlington-Edison 54.00, 4. Interlake 52.50, 5. Woodland 47, 6. Franklin Pierce 44.50, 7. Mount Baker 29.50, 8. Othello 11.00
Top 5: 1. Cherokee Kim (Steilacoom) 153; 2. Kendall Gray (Fife) 154; 3. Aleana Groenhout (Interlake) 159; 4. Brooke Branigan (Bellingham) 162; 4. Jenn Paul (Bellingham) 162.
Bellingham: Brooke Branigan 162; Jenn Paul 162; Jenna Reardanz 186; Madi McNeely 187; Audrey Orem 188; Katherine Rodgers 195.
Mount Baker: Laura Wilson 186; Nicole Champman 199
Squalicum: Esti O'Connell 184