SNOHOMISH — The girls golf team of South Whidbey finished in fifth place at the Cascade Conference championship.
Katie Ewing, a junior, led the Falcons with 103 strokes for a top-10 finish. Jenna Kaik, a sophomore, also finished in the top 10, scoring a round of 104 strokes.
“I think I could have done better,” Kaik said. “I messed up a lot and I wanted to aim to shoot below a 100. I have to work on my drives and my putting.”
Kaik entered the match as South Whidbey’s top golfer and Ewing was in the second group on Monday, May 9.
Emily Houck, a junior, was the Falcons’ third-leading scorer, with 108 strokes.
Hannah Cotton, Audrey DiGirolamo and Kaitlyn Hanson completed rounds of 126, 137 and 166, respectively.
South Whidbey finished fifth with 578 strokes.
The Lakewood Cougars won the conference championship with 512 strokes. King’s (513 strokes) and Archbishop Murphy (517 strokes) followed at first and second place.
The Cascade Conference championship does not affect qualification for the District 1 tournament. Each of the six varsity golfers automatically qualify for next week’s tournament at Skagit Golf and Country Club in Burlington.
South Whidbey head girls golf coach Tom Sage said Kaik, Ewing and Houck are the only Falcons that will compete in the district tournament, though.
It was the first full-course match for the Falcons and the duration of the match affected the their scores.
“This was our first 18-hole match this season.” Sage said. “It’s been a very adverse season of weather, which a lot of the time rains out our practices and matches.”
Sage said team morale was positive for the situation they were in.
“The girls did their best not to complain,” Sage said. “The bad weather and less practicing — you can’t really compensate for it. We did what we could do.”
South Whidbey competed against Cascade Conference teams Granite Falls, Cedarcrest, Archbishop Murphy, Lakewood, Sultan and King’s. Coupeville does not have a girls golf team. Even though the conference title was on the line, the Falcons remained relaxed and enjoyed their rounds.
“I pretty much know all of the girls that I play with from the other teams,” Kaik said. “The atmosphere felt the same (as the regular season), but it was different playing the full 18 holes.”
The Falcons began their day separated. The top three golfers of each team started on the first hole, while the other three began on the 10th hole. The girls teed off 30 minutes after the boys began.
In an adverse weather season, breaks of sunlight, cloud cover and no rain were welcome changes.
“I think that’s the best weather for playing,” Kaik said. “It’s not too hot and not too cold.”
The Falcons finished around 7 p.m. and stayed even longer to confirm and submit scores for final placing. In the total-points standings throughout the season, Jenna finished 12th in the league and Ewing finished 17th.
In the beginning of the season, qualifying for state was a distant goal.
Now, a week away from the district match, Sage said the Falcons have a chance at getting some players to the state tournament in Tacoma.
“I believe Katie (Ewing) and Jenna (Kaik), have real good shots at making it,” Sage said. “I believe Emily (Houck) also has a chance at it.”
“We’re a young team, and the girls did exceptional shooting in the low 100s. I was really pleased overall, especially with our top three golfers,” he said.
Skagit Golf and Country Club hosts the District 1 tournament on Monday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 17. Tee time is set for 10 a.m. on the first day, and for 12:30 p.m. the second.
The field is cut in half after the first day, and the top 18 golfers during the two days qualify for the state tournament.