High School Sports

Bellingham's Nolan shoots course record at state, finishes second

Bellingham boys’ golfer Nick Nolan shot a course record 64 in the second round and placed second overall at the Class 2A State Championships on Thursday, May 28, at Liberty Lake Golf Course.

Nolan finished with an overall score of 136 at state, three strokes behind first-place Aaron Whalen from Ephrata High School.

“I was pretty happy with how I’ve played. A 64 is my lowest round ever since I started golfing,” Nolan said in a phone interview. “It was the perfect time to do it today when a lot of kids scored higher than yesterday. I played smart and aggressive, knowing I had to get down to top five.”

The highlight of Nolan’s second round came at hole No. 6. He hit his approach shot and ended up holing it out from 85 yards. While signing his scorecard, Nolan was informed he shot the course record.

“That made me very excited and I was surprised,” he said. “I felt proud to have my name up on the wall at Liberty Lake.”

Rees Kruhlak shot a 77 in the second round for a total score of 152, good for 20th place at state.

“I didn’t finish how I would’ve liked to. But I still played my average,” Kruhlak said in a phone interview. “I’m pretty happy with how I did overall.”

As a senior for Bellingham, Kruhlak ended his career as a Red Raider on a high note.

“It’s probably been the best four years of my life,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better team and a better coach.”

Ben Henrikson shot an 84 for an overall score of 164 to finish 39th at state. The putting-game got the best of Henrikson on both days at state.

“The first day I was hitting it pretty well. But I was struggling with the putter,” Henrikson said in a phone interview. “That kind of carried into the second day also. The big takeaway form this was I need to work around the greens a lot more and get closer. I managed to do a lot better than I thought I would (at state).”

The Red Raiders’ finished fourth as a team with a score of 66.50.

Lynden’s Ezra Arneson placed fifth at state after shooting a 70 in the second round for a total score of 142.

“It was the most consistent two rounds I’ve played my entire life,” Arneson said in a phone interview. “I played conservatively both rounds and expected to make my putts.”

Heading into his senior season, Arneson said this experience at state is a huge confidence booster and will look to improve on his consistency.

Alex Crabtree shot a 72 for a score of 144 to finish ninth in the tournament.

“It was honestly the best golf I’ve ever played,” Crabtree said in a phone interview. “I’ve now seen what I can produce and hopefully I can do that next year and put up good golf scores.”

The Lions placed third as a team with a score of 68.00 and only two golfers at state. With both golfers returning next season, Lynden coach Russ Dorr said the future is bright.

“A tremendous day today,” he said. “I’m really happy with our finish with just two guys. These two guys beat the odds this year as a two man team again.”

Squalicum’s Tavo O’Connell placed 40th at state after shooting an 88 in the second round for a combined score of 165.

“I wasn’t hitting the ball how I wanted to,” O’Connell said in a phone interview. “I was happy I made it to the second day. I’m proud of myself and happy I got to finish the season like this.”

O’Connell, a senior at Squalicum, will be leaving a legacy of hard work and commitment for the Storm’s golf program, Squalicum coach Jeff Tetrick said in a phone interview.

“Every year he gets better and better,” he said. “He set out to make state his senior year and achieved those goals. It was nice to see him finish his high school career with a decent round at the state tournament.”