Huntsman leads Wa-Hi to third at MCC pod match

With a brisk wind and temperatures just below 40 degrees, it was sand, sun and sock caps for Wa-Hi’s Jessica Huntsman as she blasts her ball out of the sand and to the 17th green Monday morning during the Blue Devils’ Mid-Columbia Conference pod match at Veterans Memorial Golf Course.

With a brisk wind and temperatures just below 40 degrees, it was sand, sun and sock caps for Wa-Hi’s Jessica Huntsman as she blasts her ball out of the sand and to the 17th green Monday morning during the Blue Devils’ Mid-Columbia Conference pod match at Veterans Memorial Golf Course. Photo by Jeff Horner.

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WALLA WALLA — Led by Jessica Huntsman’s 81, Walla Walla High School placed third Monday at a Mid-Columbia Conference girls golf pod match at Veterans Memorial Golf Course.

Hanford, the defending Class 3A champions, took three out of the top four scores for a low team score of 340, a full 39 strokes less than runner-up Kennewick, which scored 379.

Walla Walla shot 390 to lead all Class 4A schools, edging fourth-place Richland by three strokes.

“I’m extremely pleased with our team score of 390,” Wa-Hi coach Mike Patterson said. “We haven’t been to 390 in probably six or seven years, so to come around in our first pod match with the wind blowing so hard and shoot a 390, I’m extremely pleased.

“We’re going to be working on our short game,” he said. “We had a lot of extra strokes in the short game, so to shoot so well despite that is pretty positive.”

Hanford’s Taylor Kain-Gody shot 79 to win medalist.

Huntsman’s 81 was good for second place. She shot a 39 on the front nine and a 42 on the back of the course.

Her round was highlighted by an eagle on the par-4 ninth hole. She drove to within 20 yards of the green and chipped in from there.

“Her (Huntsman’s) scoring average last year was right around 79, so it’s good to see her drop back down around 81,” Patterson said. “She had three 3-puts yesterday and a couple of other miscues in the short game, so just like all the other girls we’re hoping to take about six strokes off everyone’s scores.”

Marisa Jimenez shot a personal-best 92 for the Blue Devils, Kendall Dunovant carded a 97 and Shanna Postlewait shot 120 to round out the Wa-Hi counters.

The Blue Devils travel to the Pasco Invite at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco Thursday with an 11 a.m. shotgun start.

Wa-Hi won’t attend another MCC pod match until April 9.

“We’ll have plenty of time to strengthen our weaknesses and see if we can start to climb to the top,” Patterson said.

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