The story of the girls’ golf season has been the continued dominance of Bellingham for nearly 15 years now, but this year some other schools proved the Red Raiders aren’t alone atop the Northwest District.
While the Red Raiders captured yet another District 1 Tournament title, on Tuesday, May 19, at Skagit Golf and Country Club, Lynden’s Jade Ming showed that her best golf may still be ahead of her. The Lions’ freshman captured the medalist honor at the tournament with a two-day score of 178, eight strokes better than the second place finisher.
Ming sat in first after day one action with a 92, and Squalicum’s Maddi Atwood-Knudson was breathing down her neck at 93. And while the senior Atwood-Knudson displayed veteran consistency with a second-day 93, Ming posted an 86.
“I think my short game was an issue yesterday, but today was a little better,” Ming said. “The fourth hole with the water that comes out to the green and the seven hole gave me problems, but I did better on them than yesterday. Mostly I just wanted to have fun because it’s my freshman year and I wanted to get used to districts and everything.”
Atwood-Knudson’s score may not have shown a difference from day one to day two, but she noticed some changes.
“Yesterday I didn’t feel like I did as great, but I still managed to pull off a good score,” she said, “which was great because I worked really hard. Today I felt more relaxed in a way and I was hoping for a better score, but I had a couple of holes that I messed up.”
That relaxation the second day helped Atwood-Knudson enjoy the experience of her final district tournament in prep golf, but still she maintains her high expectations of herself.
“She’s still not even happy with the score she got,” Squalicum coach Chad Herman said. “(Taking second) is a nice thing to see because she puts a lot of pressure on herself and I’m excited for her to go to state her senior year and improve on taking 16th last year.”
Still-reigning champ Bellingham was paced by Sadie Steele, who tied for fourth with a 192 over the tournament’s two days. She shot 96 on both days after a great practice round over the weekend, which included a hole-in-one on the 13th hole.
“I think the practice gave me more confidence,” Steele said. “I scored well for the practice round, and not as well today, but it gave me confidence. I played each day differently and my consistent scores happened to fall together. The pin placement was really hard, so reading that was a challenge, but it was fun.”
Alex Ferrier shot a 102 after her first-day 98 to tally an even 200 and take sixth overall for Bellingham. Her teammate, Emma Lochridge, took seventh at 202 thanks to a 99 on the second day after her 103 the first day. Erin Wood tied for ninth as all four Bellingham golfers finished in the top 10. She shot a 106 the first day and a 101 the second day for a 207 total.
“I think experience is huge. All of these kids have now been in a couple of district tournaments and have stepped up and become leaders on our team,” Bellingham coach Brad McKay said. “I think we prepare well all season long. They take it to heart that we have a pretty heavy legacy to carry, so that adds pressure, but it gives us focus so in tournaments like this we can play well.”
Squalicum’s Christina Kim finished tied with Steele for fourth thanks to some consistency on her part, as well. Her scores were identical to Steele’s — 96 on both days for a 192.
Jordan Flannery also qualified for state for the Storm, tying for 12th with a 211. Piper Moncrieff competed in second-day action for the Storm, but came up short of the top 18 with a 239 two-day total. Flannery improved on her 107 with a 104 on the second day, and Moncrieff decreased her 128 to a 111.
“I was pleased that we have three of four going onto state, and I’m proud of the fourth (Moncrieff),” Herman said. “She had her best score on nine holes on her last nine, so it was nice to see her end with a good score. Christina had a nice two-day total, and she didn’t make it past the first day of state last year, so it will be nice to see her get a shot at redemption for herself.”
Sehome’s Hannah Peterson rounded out the qualifiers from Whatcom County, taking eighth with a 205 overall (102 day one, 103 day two).
The Girls’ Golf Class 2A State Tournament begins Wednesday, May 27, at Meadowwood Golf Course in Spokane.
Class 2A Northwest District Tournament
At Skagit Golf and Country Club
Team champion: Bellingham 1033
Medalist: Jade Ming (Lynden) 178
Bellingham: 1. Sadie Steele 192 (96, 96); 2. Alex Ferrier 200 (98, 102); 3. Emma Lochridge 202 (103, 99); 4. Erin Wood 207 (106, 101); 5. Emme McNabb 232 (114, 118); 6. Sarah Gibb 242 (116, 126)
Blaine: 1. Cassidy Justason 248 (123, 125); 2. Brooke Griffen 130 (130, no score).
Lynden: 1. Jade Ming 178 (92, 86).
Sehome: 1. Hannah Peterson 205 (102, 103); 2. Jaiayi Xie 141 (141, no score); 3. Ina LaGrandeur 161 (161, no score); 4. Taylor Firmstone DQ.
Squalicum: 1. Maddi Atwood-Knudson 186 (93, 93); 2. Christina Kim 192 (96, 96); 3. Jordan Flannery 211 (107, 104); 4. Piper Moncreiff 239 (128, 111); 5. Karissa Weeda 133 (133, no score).