The Bellingham girls' golf team outshot its opponents and won the Whatcom County Championships on Monday, March 25, at Lake Padden Golf Course.
Bellingham shot a score of 131 in the modified stableford system to earn the win. Squalicum took second with a score of 78, Mount Baker finished with 59, Meridian finished with 48, Lynden finished with 44, Blaine finished with 33, Sehome finished with 30, Ferndale finished with 28 and Nooksack Valley finished with 6 points.
"It was a great day with a pretty large field," Bellingham coach Brad McKay said in a phone interview. "It was really nice to see our team come out and play pretty well and take the top four spots. The green's were a little faster than we're used too and I think that was a challenge for everyone on the course."
Bellingham's Brooke Branigan finished first with a score of 32.
"Brooke hit the ball really well and hit all nine greens in regulation," McKay said. "She struck the ball really well and hit a lot of greens. Even though she didn't putt how she wanted to, she still was able to win by a couple shots."
Squalicum was led by Riley Andert, who finished with 28 points, and Etaana Newman, who finished with 18.
Mount Baker was led by Laura Wilson, who finished with 22 points, and Emma Brown, who finished with 11.
Abbi Rautenberg finished first for Meridian with 22 points.
Emily Ming led Lynden with a score of 24.
Bellingham's next three were Jenn Paul and Madi McNeely, who each scored 30, and Audrey Orem, who scored 29.
"We were at our home course and were comfortable getting the ball to the green and then it was just about adjusting to the speed," McKay said. "Audry had a rough start and it seemed early on we were having to make adjustments and then by the end we were scoring the points that we wanted to."
Young Lee finished with 18 points for Blaine.
Sehome was led by Melanie Henley, who finished with 17 points.
Hanzel Allen finished first for Ferndale with 10 points.
Nooksack Valley was led by Ashley Heinzl and Sarah Heinzl, who both finished with two points.
Team scores: Bellingham 131, Squalicum 78, Mount Baker 59, Meridian 48, Lynden 44, Blaine 33, Sehome 30, Ferndale 28, Nooksack Valley 6
Medalist: Brooke Branigan, Bellingham, 32
Bellingham: Brooke Branigan 32, Jenn Paul 30, Madi McNeely 30, Audrey Orem 29, Emma Lochridge 10
Squalicum: Riley Andert 28, Etaana Newman 18, Maddi Atwood-Knutson 13, Christina Kim 14, Ali Cardinale 5
Mount Baker: Laura Wilson 22, Emma Brown 11, Bailee Backstrom 9, Erika Henderson 9, Amy Wilson 8
Meridian: Abbi Rautenberg 22, Elsa Palmer 9, Gladys Galunna 6, Paula Whitney 6, Becca Routhe 5
Lynden: Emily Ming 24, Ashlyn Morgan 14, Emily Crabtree 6, Clara Bedlington 0
Blaine: Young Lee 18, Emily Greathouse 13, Lindsey Gillern 2
Sehome: Melanie Henley 17, Dani Johnson 7, Hannah Peterson 6
Ferndale: Hanzel Allen 10, Monica Mouth 7, Nicole Morgan 5, Annie Jane Burns 4, Courtney Waytushek 2
Nooksack Valley: Ashley Heinzl 2, Sarah Heinzl 2, Kylee Anker 1, Breanna Compton 1