Irish teams win District 9 match

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By KEN MORGAN

of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

WALLA WALLA — DeSales High School played through sun, wind and rain here Thursday at Veterans Memorial Golf Course to capture both boys and girls team titles in District 9 golf action.

The Irish boys — with three of the counting four scores over the par-72 course in the 70s — claimed the team title with a score of 320.

Pomeroy shot 362 for second.

Emily Baumgart and Elizabeth Ruthven led the Irish girls to the team title with a 193 score, counting the top two.

The Pirates finished second at 217.

“Bless their hearts, they were willing to hang in there (through the weather),” Irish coach Lon Olson said of his golfers. “They showed a lot of maturity. Under the conditions and circumstances, I have no complaints.”

Lucas Lyons carded a medalist score of 76 to lead the Irish boys.

Liberty Christian’s, and Lewis and Clark State College-bound, Isaiah Ojeda was second with a 77.

DeSales’ Jerod Konen was next at 78, and Scott Kimball constructed a 79.

Pomeroy’s Jacob Tewalt tied Kimball for fourth overall with a 79 to lead the Pirates.

Steve Xiao rounded out the Irish scoring with an 87.

“It got bad out there,” Lyons said of the weather changes. “You try to just stay the same. The wind really didn’t affect it. The greens got wetter and the ball didn’t roll as well. I should’ve shot better. My irons were my strong suit. I need to work on chipping and my driver (to get to state).”

Baumgart, who has two consecutive state second-place finishes, took girls medalist with a round of 78.

Pomeroy’s Teresa Myers was next at 101, Tri Cities Prep’s Rachel Armijo shot 103 for third. The Jaguar’s Moira Thornhill was next at 114, and Ruthven finished at 115.

“It was rough,” Baumgart said of the conditions. “You just practice as much as you can in the terrible weather. You have to make sure you know your distances when you get into the wind and rain. You have to stay positive and not let yourself get too down. I had a rough (triple bogey) No. 1 (Baumgart’s 13th hole from the modified shotgun start). Those are hard to bounce back from.

“Overall, I think I’m getting a little better (as the season has progressed) although my scores may not show it,” Baumgart said of her sophomore season. “I can hit the ball a long ways, but I’ve always struggled with my putting. It is getting better, which is good.”

Following Tewalt’s 79 for the Pirates, Tyson Feider carded a round of 86. Devon Caruso shot a 92, and Spencer Craigie came home in 105 to round out Pomeroy’s scoring.

“Whatever the weather conditions, you just have to make the best of it, like they do at state,” Pomeroy coach Jim Greene said. “You just keep playing. We didn’t bring our No. 1 (Riley Bott), who had other commitments. We are real young (three eighth graders) and we have never been on the course. There are some great golfers in the district. We have some golfers who we think can compete. We’ll wait and see how that works out Monday (sub-district) and Thursday (district).”

Walla Walla Valley Academy, in the beginning stages of its golf program, shot a 485. Dylan Trapani led the way with a 91, Ryan Ligman carded a 102, Joey Hutton fired a 111 and Alex Mason finished with a 131.

“This year, we have a couple of guys that have some experience, and some that are very limited in (golf) experience,” Knights’ coach Christian Bell said. “We are starting from square one. We’ve made a huge amount of progress. We need to develop a feeder program as we have the potential to do well in the future. It has been a lot of fun.”

The District 9 golfers enter the postseason with the sub-district at Canyon Lakes Monday. Each team takes their top six boys and girls to the district qualifying tournament.

“Our top six (boys Lyons, Konen, Kimball, Xiao, Dan Schaefer and Matt Baumgart) have been very consistent all year,” Olson said. “Emily is just as solid as a rock. I don’t think I’ve ever had a kid tell me that ‘I’m nervous (about the postseason).’ They just tee it up and go. They have a routine and they do it no matter what.”

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