LACEY, Wash. - With first-year Missionary Katie Zajicek leading the way, a young Whitman College women's golf team was one shot off the lead after Saturday's opening round of the Northwest Conference Spring Classic at The Links at Hawks Prairie.
With the field battling high winds, Zajick shot a 7-over par 79 and was in second place in the individual scoring.
Whitman's top four golfers combined for a 342 team score, one stroke behind George Fox.
Whitworth was a distant third with a 364 total. Other team scores are Pacific 372, Linfield 381, Puget Sound 389, and Pacific Lutheran 421.
Whitworth's Emily Guthrie shot 78 to post Saturday's low individual score.
Sophomore Caitlin Holland was second for Whitman, and in sixth place overall, with an 85. Catelyn Webber, another of Whitman's first-year players, was part of a five-way tie for ninth place at 88.
Sophomore Tate Head completed Whitman's team score with a 90, which left her in a two-tie for 15th. First-year Missionary Elaine Whaley also played, shooting 95 to slip into 20th place.
The Spring Classic concludes on Sunday with a second round of 18 holes. The course is playing at 5,800 yards.
The Spring Classic is one of three tournaments that determines the NWC championship. Whitman placed fourth in the Fall Classic last October at Lost Tracks Golf Course in Bend, Ore.
The regular season ends later this month with the NWC Championship Tournament, which counts for half of the season-long point totals.