Camas girls win district golf championship

Seniors Emma Cox, Ashley Clark qualify for state

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Camas senior Ashley Clark drains a putt on hole No. 18 at the district golf championships in Ridgefield on May 6. Clark finished second with a two-round score of 163.

Senior leadership was on full display at the 4A District 4 girls golf tournament at Tri-Mountain Golf Course in Ridgefield on May 6-7, with two Camas golfers on the top of the leaderboard.

On the first day, Emma Cox finished with a 76 to take the lead and teammate Ashley Clark was right behind in second place after shooting a 77.

Both players held on to those positions on the second day of the tournament. Cox shot a 78 to win the individual title with a two-day score of 154 and Clark shot 86 to finish second with a 163.

Cox and Clark led the Papermakers to a team title and qualified for the 4A state tournament, to be held at Hangman Valley Golf Course in Spokane on May 21-22.

“It wasn’t a bad round (Monday), but I can do a lot better and I’m looking forward to proving that at state,” Cox said.

On the first day of the district tournament, Clark struggled a bit on the front nine and shot a 41, but rallied in windy conditions on the back side, firing a 36.

“It was a good day,” Clark said. “I stayed positive throughout even with the winds kicking up on the back nine.”

Sophomore Elizabeth Gillespie (179) and senior Wenny Cai (184) finished third and fourth, respectively, at the district tournament.

The Papermakers competed in the bi-district tournament at Gold Mountain Golf Course in Bremerton on May 14, after this edition’s deadline.

New postseason format provides new opportunities

This is the first year entire golf teams have the opportunity to compete at state tournaments. Prior to this season state tournaments were only for qualified individual players.

If Camas wins the bi-district tournament, the entire team will compete at state.

“I’m really excited about the new format,” Cox said. “Hopefully our whole team is able to make it to state, and having the whole team play together and qualify together is just an awesome experience.”

Even though Cox and Clark scored low enough at the district tournament to qualify for state, they are also playing full rounds at bi-districts. Joining Cox, Clark, Cai and Gillespie will be Elizabeth’s twin sister Ashley and freshman Kallie Wengler.

Camas coach Bob Foster likes the new format because in past years his top golfers who qualified for state at the district tournament would not play at bi-districts.

“It was always a dead spot between district and state of about 12 days,” he said. “There was no competition for our top players, but with the new format at least they get to go to bi-districts, so we have one more two-day tournament to pressure-test the kids before state.”

“I think it’s so nice we get to play another tournament and get some solid practice in for state the following weekend,” Clark said.

The new format also gives Camas a better chance at winning a team state title, according to Foster. The Papermakers have finished second at the state tournament behind perennial powerhouse Bellarmine Prep for the past four years.

Cox believes the only people not thrilled with the new postseason format are her teachers, who don’t like the fact that golfers will miss Monday and Tuesday classes for three consecutive weeks.

“My teachers are not happy, but I’m looking forward to it,” Cox said with a smile.

As senior leaders, Cox and Clark have individual goals of finishing in the top five at state.

“I feel like the way I’ve been practicing that I have the potential to get there this season,” Clark said.

The new team format means that for the first time Camas will be competing against Bellarmine Prep at bi-districts.

“I think bi-districts will be a good preview of what will happen at state, and I just hope that we all do well,” Cox said.

District Champion Emma Cox drains a ten foot putt at hole number 18 to score a 76 in day one of the tournament.
District Champion Emma Cox drains a ten foot putt at hole number 18 to score a 76 in day one of the tournament. Photo