Falcon golfers play through comrade’s state scratch

Falcon senior Jenna Kaik and sophomore Rosie Portillo celebrate the end of their season at the state 1A girls golf tournament May 21-22.  - Matt Portillo photo
Falcon senior Jenna Kaik and sophomore Rosie Portillo celebrate the end of their season at the state 1A girls golf tournament May 21-22.
— image credit: Matt Portillo photo

Hannah Cotton can’t catch a break, but she can catch a sprain.

The Falcon senior golfer sprained her ankle the night before the state 1A tournament she was slated to play in May 21. A swollen ankle knocked her out of play, making room for some lucky girl. Last year, Cotton missed the 2A District 1 tournament because she injured her shoulder.

Cotton was relegated to a cheerleader as she watched her teammates Jenna Kaik and Rosie Portillo carry the South Whidbey banner at Lake Spanaway Golf Course.

“That took an emotional impact on the girls,” said Falcon head coach Tom Sage. “This was (Cotton’s) senior year. She had to endure a 200-mile trip for a one-hole playoff at district, qualified at tri-district and then couldn’t play.”

“That first round, it weighed heavily on Jenna the most.”

Only Kaik advanced to the second round May 22. The senior shot a qualifying score of 91 strokes in the first round on the par-72 course and was in 16th place. That was nine strokes higher than Kaik’s lowest score, an 82 she tallied during the 1A District 1 tournament at North Bellingham Golf Course.

The top golfer, Madisen Bently from Life Christian Academy, finished round one with a 71.

Kaik beat the cutoff mark by two strokes. She finished the tournament after a second-round score of 88 put her in 12th place. 

Portillo, a sophomore, missed the cut by two strokes and a score of 95. She tied for 21st with two other golfers and cheered on her teammate during the second round.

Driving proved a major impediment to Portillo. Her shots pulled right, left and seemingly every direction but the straight ball she wanted.

“I didn’t feel I golfed my best,” she said. “I had a hard day.”

The round finished poorly for her, too. On the final hole, she aimed her drive left only to watch it hook right. Once she got on the green, it took three putts to sink the ball and end her round.

“Rosie played a good game, that’s just the way it goes,” Sage said. “When you’re good, it comes down to a couple strokes.”

South Whidbey finished its girls golf season as the Cascade Conference champions, 1A District 1 champions and tri-district champions.

“To get a team in (the state tournament) is very difficult,” Sage said.

Only Woodland High School finished with two golfers in the second round and four overall, allowing it to win the state 1A team title.


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