Wa-Hi girl golfers place 2nd at pod match

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RICHLAND - Amongst the 30 mph winds and 40 mph gusts at the Columbia Point Golf Course Monday, Wa-Hi's girls' golf team passed a milestone.

Led by sophomore Jessica Huntsman's 81, the Blue Devils unseated Wenatchee for second place for the first time this season at a Big Nine pod match.

"The weather was awful, but it was a huge beakthrough for us yesterday," Wa-Hi coach Mike Patterson said. "We had winds at 30 mph with 40 mph gusts, and we shoot the lowest team score of the year."

Patterson said the Blue Devils had seen their biggest improvement in the short game.

"Our chipping and putting has drastically improved," Patterson said. "Their course management has beeen getting better as well. You don't just step up there and hit it as far as you can, sometimes you have to think about how your shot is going to lead to the next shot.

"I couldn't be more proud of how these ladies played yesterday," he said.

Despite finishing tied for a season-low 390 (six strokes under Wenatchee), Wa-Hi was still a distant second to Richland, which scored 333 and had five out of six of the top finishers on the day.

Richland's Kristen Strankman took her usual spot as medalist with a 78.

Huntsman's 81 was good for second overall. She led by as many as three strokes on the back nine after a pair of birdies, but lost the match after a triple bogey on the final hole.

"She's just grinding it out," Patterson said of the sophomore. "She's so competitive."

Kendall Dunovant finished tied for 10th with a 97. Marisa Jimenez tied a personal best with a 105 despite the poor weather. Cassie Patterson broke 50 over nine holes for the first time in her career on the back nine en route to a 107, good for a tie for 22nd place.

The second-place finish did little to affect the Big Nine standings; Richland is still in the lead with 35 points, while Wenatchee is in second with 29 and Walla Walla third with 26 points.

Wa-Hi hosts the final CBBN pod match Monday at Veterans' Memorial Golf Course.

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