It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
Dylan Wu and his St. Mary's teammates will try to maintain their dominance at the Class 3A/2A/1A boys golf tournament today and Tuesday.
The Crusaders have won three straight championships, and a fourth would tie them for the most consecutive state titles with two other schools: Medford from 1979-82 and Taft from 1984-87.
Wu, meanwhile, will try to defend the individual crown he won for the first time last year as a junior.
The state tournament is at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, and the St. Mary's contingent will be one of a number from the Rogue Valley in action for the two days.
The 4A/3A/2A/1A girls will also be at Trysting Tree.
The 6A and 5A boys will compete at Quail Valley in Banks; the 6A and 5A girls will be at Emerald Valley in Creswell; and the 4A boys will be Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond.
Last year in the state tournament at Emerald Valley, Wu chipped in for a birdie 2 on the 17th hole on Day 2 to secure the title over friend and rival Kevin Murphy of Rogue River. Wu shot rounds of 71 and 73 for an even-par 144.
"It's good to win state for my school and for myself," Wu said after winning the District 6 championship Tuesday at Centennial Golf Club. "This year, Kevin's not here, so basically it's just my brothers and Cascade Christian. I feel pretty confident that if I play my own game and play well, I can go pretty low at state because Trysting Tree is a lot like this course, wide open. But, you can't really expect anything."
Last year was the first time in five years any teams at any level shot below 600 at state. St. Mary's did it at Emerald Valley with back-to-back 299s for a 598 total. Three others teams, all Class 6A, also did it last year, and they were at Trysting Tree.
So, there are low numbers to be had.
The Crusaders set 18- and 36-hole scoring records a year ago for its division, and its 77-stroke victory over Rogue River set a record for margin of victory for all divisions.
All the players are back from that team, including Wu, who is headed to Northwestern on a scholarship, and his brother Josh, a sophomore and the twin of Jeremy. Josh was second in the district tournament and has defeated his older brother a couple times this spring.
Cascade Christian finished second to St. Mary's in the district tournament and might pose the most serious threat to the Crusaders.
The Challengers' Day 2 score Tuesday was four shots better than St. Mary's, 301 to 305. It was the first time the Crusaders lost an 18-hole round in two years.
St. Mary's won the title with an overall score of 597 to the Challengers' 605.
Cascade Christian had the distinction of being the only team in its classification to have three players shoot in the 70s for both rounds at district. Junior Jake Quast was third with a 144, and brother Ben Quast, a freshman, and teammate Max Davis, a sophomore, tied for fourth at 146.
In 6A boys, South Medford's team, led by Southwest Conference runner-up Reese Fisher, a freshman, will be in action as the No. 2 team from the conference. North Medford senior Daniel Schuler, the district champion, will also compete.
They'll be joined by Ashland senior Matt Hedges, who was runner-up in the 5A District 1 tournament.
In 6A girls action, North Medford freshman Kiana Oshiro and Crater sophomore Danielle Giles are entered. They were second and third, respectively, at the district tournament.
In 4A/3A/2A/1A play, St. Mary's is sending two girl individuals — freshman Staesha Flock and sophomore Bella Yaeger — to state.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email email@example.com