Wa-Hi's Atkinson heads to state golf tourney

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MOSES LAKE - Wa-Hi's boys golfed to third at the Big Nine 4A District Tournament at Moses Lake Monday.

The top eight golfers at the tournament qualified for state, with Blue Devil Dean Atkinson finishing in a tie for sixth with a two-day score of 79-76-155 on the par-71 Moses Lake Country Club golf course.

"We were happy with that," said Wa-Hi coach Jim Smith of Atkinson's finish. "We knew he had a chance, but we weren't sure if he could put two good rounds together. He came back with a good round on the second 18.

Richland won the tournament and is sending five of the Big Nine's eight qualifying golfers, including medalist Hunter Thompson (74-73-147) to state at Spokane's Qualchan Golf Course May 24-25.

Moses Lake is sending two golfers to state.

Wa-Hi's Jake Hanson finished 12th, golfing 83-81-164, and Nick Atwood was 13th at 86-79-165.

And Blue Devils Travis Morrison (93-82-165), Gunnar Leighty (85-91-176) and Jeremiah Mason (89-89-178) were 24th, 25th and 26th, respectively.

It was Hanson's first round with the team in about eight weeks. He injured his back and had been sidelined much of the season.

"He hit some great shots ... but just didn't have a feel for anything," Smith said. Hanson finished 12th and lost four balls.

"If you take those off, he's right there," Smith said of the lost balls. "We're really happy he was able to go and help the team finish third, instead of fourth. It's bittersweet, but it's nice that in his senior year he was able to go play districts."

And with state coming next week, Smith is focused on Atkinson and hoping the weather holds.

"It was 48 degrees and rainy," he said of the Moses Lake round Monday. "It got better later on, but that's not what you expect in the middle of May. It's been a terrible spring."

STATE QUALIFIERS - Hunter Thompson, Rich, 74-73-147; Cole Lorenzo, Rich, 77-72-149; Jeff Marcum, Rich, 77-73-150; Randy McNair, ML, 75-79-154, Gabe Porter, ML, 73-81-154; Matt Rezendes, Rich, 77-78-155; Dean Atkinson, Wa-Hi, 79-76-155; Jack Eiden, Rich, 80-77-157.

TEAM SCORES - Richland 165.5, Moses Lake 116, Wa-Hi 109.5, Wenatchee 106.5, Chiawana 74.5, Davis 54.5, Eisenhower Incomp.

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