Girls swing into season with a squish


Had they not heard this sound spring after spring during their golf careers, members of the South Whidbey High School girls golf team might have started getting discouraged over the past week. Instead, they turned in three sets of solid scores, two meet victories, and looked to be ahead of where they were at this point last season.

At a thoroughly soaked Useless Bay Golf and Country Club Thursday, the Falcons put up consistent scores through their entire lineup as they beat teams from Nooksack Valley and Lakewood in the second North Cascades Conference meet of the season. Led by senior Hailie Mansfield, who scored 22 Stableford points behind the 24 made by meet medalist Jill Quinn of Nooksack, the Falcons totaled 89 points as a team, 11 ahead of Nooksack and 71 in front of Lakewood.

The team’s overall score, said team coach Tom Sage, was four strokes better than on the same course at the same time last season. Contributing were seniors Jessica Johnson and Jennifer Pan with rounds of 17 on the nine-hole course, as well as Jenna Lindus with another 17 and Nici Eaton at 16.

Though the scores were not as high as the team will need to get golfers into the state meet, Sage said it’s encouraging to see the Falcon girls scoring in a tight bunch.

“That’s what we have going for us this year,” he said.

A week earlier, however, the Falcons were not able to bunch up for the win due to the absence of Johnson and Lindus. Playing Mount Baker and Meridian at Shuksan Golf Course on March 18, the Falcons managed some big numbers at the top of the lineup, but wound up five points short of a team victory when newer players down the lineup couldn’t keep pace.

Mansfield was also the team leader in this outing, scoring a 24 on nine holes, just one point behind medalist Kalyssa Fox of Mount Baker. Pan turned in an 18 on the day, while sisters Nici and Jessi Eaton scored 18s. Becca Jaffe posted a 7 to round out the team’s scoring.

A day earlier, the full Falcon team showed what it could do against top-shelf competition, downing 3A Monroe at Holmes Harbor Golf Course in Freeland. In an 18-hole match, it was Jennifer Pan who had the endurance to the lead the team. Her point total of 45 placed her well behind medalist Casey Westerman’s 55, but combined with a 41 from Johnson, 38s from Lindus and Mansfield and a 33 from Nici Eaton, it was enough to give the Falcons a 195-183 victory.

Next up for the Falcons is an NCC meet at Kayak Point on Thursday.

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