Huntsman finishes 31st at state in ‘miserable’ conditions

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VANCOUVER, Wash. — Dreadful weather conditions elevated most scores here Wednesday at Club Green Meadows during the second round of the girls Washington Class 4A state golf tournament.

Wa-Hi’s Jessica Huntsman was among the victims of what Blue Devils coach Mike Patterson described as “the most awful conditions” he had ever witnessed on a golf course.

“It was 42 degrees, you could see your breath and it was a constant downpour,” Patterson said. “It was miserable.

“But it was just great to see Jessica, all the girls for that matter, battle the conditions and hit good shot after good shot. But that type of weather can wear you down and soak you to the bone.”

After shooting a first-round 88 Tuesday that put her in 27th position in the field of 40 girls who survived the cut, Huntsman sloshed to a 93 Wednesday for a 36-hole total of 181 that was good for 31st place. She was the second-lowest scorer from the Mid-Columbia Conference behind Pasco’s Neydeen Martinez, who shot 83-84—167 and tied for 12th place with Lydia Kim of Mead and Lily Navarre of Eastlake.

Sierra Kersten of Spokane’s Lewis & Clark won the individual championship on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff when she made par to edge Olivia Benzin of Bellarmine Prep. Kersten and Benzin stalked each other throughout the tournament, shooting identical 78s on Tuesday and then overcoming the inclement conditions with matching 1-over-par 73s on Wednesday.

Benzin’s consolation was a state team championship as Bellarmine Prep totaled 168 points to easily outdistance second-place Kentwood, which totaled 92.5 points.

The boys Class 4A tournament, which was played at Camas Meadows in nearby Camas, Wash., Eastlake claimed the team championship with 97 points and Camas’ Brian Humphreys was the individual medalist with an even-par score of 144 after rounds of 70 and 74. Humphreys finished two shots ahead of Eastlake’s Li Wang, who went into the second round tied for the lead but carded a 76 on Wednesday.

Eddie Abellar of Union, who also shared the lead after a first-round 70, followed up with a 79 and tied for third place with Brian Mogg of Skyline, sho shot 73-76—149.

The Mid-Columbia’s top finish came from Richland’s Hunter Thompson, who shot 77-79—156 and finished in a tie for 20th place.

Wa-Hi’s Dean Atkinson qualified for the tournament but did not survive the first-round cut after shooting an 83 on Tuesday.

Patterson called Wednesday’s round “a great learning experience” for Huntsman.

“She was definitely prepared, with tons of clothes,” he said. “But she went through them.

“She hit a lot of good shots, but she had some unfortunate bounces. And a lot of putts that lipped out.”

With just one senior on his girls squad, Patterson was already looking forward to next season.

“We will miss Shanna Postlewait,” the coach said of his senior player. “She was a great leader for us. But she is the only girl we lose.”

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