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St. Mary’s girls highlight state play

As St. Mary’s girls golf coach Kevin Dixon put it, the Crusaders entered the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state tournament Monday optimistic and full of that sometimes scary word “potential.”

With three standout golfers who have each laid claim to the team’s No. 1 slot at some point this season and a fourth that keeps rising to the occasion, St. Mary’s had high hopes of reclaiming its spot as one of the state’s elite programs.

In the first of two rounds on the Ridge Course at Eagle Crest Golf Club in Redmond, the Crusaders took a big step toward their goal as sophomore Kamryn Ford and junior Staesha Flock posted the top two individual scores and freshman Kaylee Wu tied for fourth to give St. Mary’s considerable cushion heading into today’s second and final round.

“We’re really lucky that we’ve got three very good golfers who are always out working and wanting to get better, and they’ve been rewarded with good scores so far,” said Dixon. “All the girls have been playing well, it’s just been a good group and they’ve jelled well together.”

The Crusaders hold a 36-stroke advantage on second-place Crook County. St. Mary’s last earned a 4A/3A/2A/1A state title in 2009, with runner-up showings in 2007, ‘08, ‘10 and ‘11. The Crusaders also were runner-up in the 3A/2A/1A state tourney in 2000.

“If we play like this again tomorrow then good things are going to happen,” said Dixon. “There’s a couple of them playing for an individual title but we just need to be solid and play the rounds we can.”

Those “good things” seemed to be running rampant for Southern Oregon golfers through the various boys and girls state tournaments Monday.

In the 5A girls tournament, Crater junior Kiana Oshiro scorched the Quail Valley Golf Course with a 5-under-par 67 to take control of the individual title race in Banks by six strokes. Senior teammate Daniele Giles, who earned the school’s first state title last year, enters today’s final round tied for fourth at 77, and the Comets are in position for their first-ever team trophy after posting a 341 total, second only to Summit.

In the 3A/2A/1A boys tournament, St. Mary’s senior Josh Wu finished his first round at even-par 72 to join Creswell’s Dayne Miller atop the individual leaderboard at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, while last year’s champion, Jeremy Wu, is seventh overall after carding a 77.

Cascade Christian senior Max Davis and junior Ben Quast each stand fifth just four strokes off the lead after posting 76s to help give the defending champion Challengers a 10-shot advantage in the team title chase over St. Mary’s with a 320 total.

In the 6A boys tournament, South Medford junior Reese Fisher posted a 3-under-par 69 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis and is tied for second place, just one shot behind Lake Oswego’s Brock Anderson.

Ford opened a four-shot advantage on Flock with an opening-round 2-over-par 74 that included 14 pars and one birdie. Flock’s 78 included a birdie and 11 pars, and Wu potentially could have given St. Mary’s the top three scores had it not been for double bogeys on her final two holes to finish at 83.

“They’re all solid off the tee and that’s the one key thing for them because it puts them in good spots,” said Dixon. “If you keep it in the middle, then good things happen.”

Ford was the only St. Mary’s player to advance to the state tournament one year ago and a return to Eagle Crest GC certainly provided a comfortable setting after she placed fifth in 2015.

“Kamryn Ford was really focused today and she played well,” said Dixon. “She was really dedicated coming in and really relaxed coming in. After winning the district title, she gained a lot of confidence for this.”

Senior Bella Yaeger posted a 103 on Monday to help put St. Mary’s in prime position for the team competition.

TEAM SCORES: St. Mary’s 338, Crook County 374, Scappoose 405, Heppner 409, Ontario 430, Blanchet Catholic 435, Taft 446, Stayton 452, Sutherlin 490.

INDIVIDUAL SCORES (Top 5): 1, Kamryn Ford, St. Mary’s, 74; 2, Staesha Flock, St. Mary’s, 78; 3, Trinity McCarthy, La Grande, 81; T4, Kaylee Wu, St. Mary’s, 83, and Cora White, Crook County, 83.

OTHER LOCAL SCORES: T9, Kynan Nordal, Illinois Valley, 89.

ST. MARY’S (338): 1, Kamryn Ford, 74; 2, Staesha Flock, 78; T4, Kaylee Wu, 83; 24, Bella Yaeger, 103.

6A TOURNAMENT: At Banks, South Medford junior Emmie Starchvick had one birdie and wrapped up the first round tied for 44th with a 91 at Quail Valley Golf Course.

North Medford freshman Dana Jung is tied for 50th after posting a 93.

TEAM SCORES: Sheldon 322, West Linn 326, Lake Oswego 330, Westview 334, Sunset 339, Jesuit 346, Clackamas 351, South Salem 355, St. Mary’s Academy 363, Roseburg 367, Lincoln 392, South Medford 398.

INDIVIDUAL SCORES (Top 5): 1, Ellie Slama, South Salem, 69; T2, Jenny Krause, Sheldon, 73, and Cami Dozois, Lake Oswego, 73; 4, Cammie Decker, McNary, 74; T5, Angela Lu, Clackamas, 75, and Ashley Zhu, South Salem, 75.

OTHER LOCAL SCORES: T36, Sarah Skokan, Grants Pass, 89; T50, Dana Jung, North Medford, 93; T71, Grace Hull, Grants Pass, 102.

SOUTH MEDFORD (398): T44, Emmie Starchvick, 91; T69, Kirsten Reed, 101; T71, Kierra Cano, 102; 75, Morgan Couch, 104.

5A TOURNAMENT: At Banks, Crater junior Kiana Oshiro eagled the 439-yard, par-5 fifth hole and finished with four birdies and only one bogey — on her 18th and final hole — to take a commanding lead at Quail Valley Golf Course.

Oshiro, who would have been the Day 1 leader in last year’s 5A tourney at 68 had she not signed an incorrect scorecard and been disqualified, will be vying for her first state title today. As a freshman at North Medford in 2014, she placed second at the 6A state tourney.

Giles posted 14 pars but was slowed in her pursuit of a repeat state title by a 4-over-par back nine.

TEAM SCORES: Summit 322, Crater 341, Pendleton 349, Wilsonville 394, Bend 395, Crescent Valley 407, Lebanon 435, Sandy 461.

INDIVIDUAL SCORES (Top 5): 1, Kiana Oshiro, Crater, 67; 2, Olivia Loberg, Summit, 73; 3, Haley Greb, Pendleton, 75; T4, Daniele Giles, Crater, 77, and Iliana Telles, The Dalles, 77.

CRATER (341): 1, Kiana Oshiro, 67; T4, Daniele Giles, 77; T15, Falon Sonnen, 95; T25, Caitlin O’Connor, 102.

Boys

6A TOURNAMENT: At Corvallis, South Medford junior Reese Fisher birdied his first two holes and carried that momentum through for a 3-under-par 69 that placed him second only to Lake Oswego’s Brock Anderson in the individual competition at Trysting Tree Golf Club.

Fisher, who tied for eighth last year, finished with five birdies against two bogeys and is tied with Sam Pyon of Clackamas in a top-five where only three strokes separate the pack.

TEAM SCORES: Jesuit 299, Lake Oswego 300, Clackamas 303, Lincoln 306, West Albany 307, Sunset 309, McNary 311, West Linn 317, Grants Pass 318, West Salem 320, Tualatin 327, Westview 332.

INDIVIDUAL SCORES (Top 5): 1, Brock Anderson, Lake Oswego, 68; T2, Reese Fisher, South Medford, 69, and Sam Pyon, Clackamas, 69; 4, Richie Mikesell, West Albany, 70; 5, Rylan Thomas, Sherwood, 71.

GRANTS PASS (318): T12, Jackson Bartow, 74; T42, Tannon Rounsaville, 80; T57, Tanner Smith, 82, and Taylor Anderson, 82.

3A/2A/1A TOURNAMENT: At Creswell, Cascade Christian used three top-10 scores to put itself in position for a second straight team title with a first-day total of 320 at Emerald Valley Golf Club.

Cascade Christian senior Max Davis, who placed third last year, carded all three of his birdies among his opening six holes but was hampered by a 5-over back nine that included a double bogey on No. 17 and bogey on No. 18.

Quast, who was fifth last year, birdied his first two holes but the junior followed with six bogeys on what proved to be the most challenging setup for play among the state tournaments. Teammate Max Valle, also a junior, had one birdie in his round to finish ninth at 7-over-par 79.

St. Mary’s senior Josh Wu, who placed 14th last year, avoided much of the trouble at Emerald Valley to counter one bogey and one double bogey with three birdies to enter the final round tied with Dayne Miller of Creswell at even-par 72.

Jeremy Wu, who used a first-day 63 to set him up for his first state title last year, opened his round with two of his nine bogeys but posted three of his four birdies on the back nine to pull within five strokes of his twin brother.

The Crusaders, who had their string of four straight state titles halted last season, also used an 86 by sophomore Max Lewis to move into second place with a 330 total.

TEAM SCORES: Cascade Christian 320, St. Mary’s 330, Regis 333, Oakridge 356, Oregon Episcopal 361, Taft 366, Portland Adventist 371, Blanchet Catholic 374, Westside Christian 383, Heppner/Ione 394, Burns 409, Vale 423, Nixyaawii 428.

INDIVIDUAL SCORES (Top 5): T1, Josh Wu, St. Mary’s, 72, and Dayne Miller, Creswell, 72; 3, Joel Snyder, Oakridge, 73; 4, Tate Lightle, Lakeview, 75; T5, Max Davis, Cascade Christian, 76, and Ben Quast, Cascade Christian, 76.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (320): T5, Max Davis, 76, and Ben Quast, 76; 9, Max Valle, 79; T28, Nash O’Hara, 89.

ST. MARY’S (330): T1, Josh Wu, 72; 7, Jeremy Wu, 77; T18, Max Lewis, 86; T38, Reese Lam, 95, and Kodiak Yaeger, 95.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@mailtribune.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry

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