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MX News Update 2024

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Gonzaga Prep boys and LC girls capture GSL 4A/3A golf titles

May 8—There was no shortage of drama as the Greater Spokane League settled the 4A/3A boys team championship and individual player of the year awards Tuesday at Wandermere Golf Course.

Everything fell into place for Gonzaga Prep in the fifth and final GSL game. The Bullpups shot a 2-over-par 282 to take first place with one shot over Mead, two over Cheney and eight over Lewis and Clark.

Gonzaga Prep picked up 10 points for the win, bringing its season total to 46.5 points, one ahead of Lewis and Clark, who led by two points entering Tuesday’s game.

“Everything was right for us,” Bullpups coach Dennis Dougherty said.

“We definitely played our best of the season. I came in and thought, ‘Let’s play well and there’s no pressure on us’, but I didn’t think we would win straight away. I thought the best we would achieve was sharing (the title).”

There wasn’t much excitement on the girls side as Lewis and Clark rolled to their second straight championship.

The Tigers, led by player of the year Amanda Nguyen’s 2-over 72, won by 15 strokes over Gonzaga Prep.

LC won the last four GSL events, finishing with 49 points. Gonzaga Prep came in second with 43 points. Mead (41) was third and Ridgeline (37) was fourth.

“I am so proud of my girls,” said coach Michelle Grafos, who has led the Tigers to 11 GSL championships in her 19 seasons, including two COVID years when no titles were awarded. “We’re really stressed about conditioning.

“We run not only 18 (holes) in matches, but also every Thursday and Saturday, so we play three rounds a week as much as possible. We put a big emphasis on the short game and the fundamentals. We peak at the right time.”

Nguyen, who shared Player of the Year honors last year with Mead’s Brooke Bloom, finished with an average of 71.3. Players may drop their two worst scores. Nguyen’s two dropped scores were 75 and 77.

“She just really ran with it,” Grafos said. “She’s always been a hard worker, but she kind of changed the way she approached the practice, which really helped her.”

Mia Bontrager of Mount Spokane was second with 77.3, followed by Lisette Durkin of Gonzaga Prep with 78.3 and Bloom with 78.6. Other first-team selections: Ridgeline’s Carolyn Rose (79.6), Lewis and Clark’s Eve Parker (86.6) and Madi Rickel (87.6), and Gonzaga Prep’s Mariah Frank (88.3).

LC and Gonzaga Prep qualified for District 8 play against Mid-Columbia Conference teams at Sun Willows in Pasco on Monday and Tuesday.

The Tigers will be without Nguyen, who will present her research at the Society for Science Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles.

North Central’s Teigen Brill and Mead’s Cam Cantillana shared the boys Player of the Year award with an average of 70.6. Cantillana, who played on Mead’s State 3A championship team last season, shot 1-under 69 at Wandermere. Brill, who finished in seventh place a year ago, shot a 70.

“I think they both just got on with it,” Dougherty said. “They’re both really great players and really great guys. Our guys love playing with those two.”

Seven players joined Cantillana and Brill on the first team, including Cheney’s Justin Krasselt (71), LC’s Jack Brigham (71), Gonzaga Prep’s Dillon Schrock (71.3), Mead’s Ben Barrett (71.6) and LC’s Michael Pirrie (72).

Cheney’s Ryan Howe, Gonzaga Prep’s Matthew Hughes and John Malsam, and Lewis and Clark’s Geo Pirrie – all with 72.3 scoring averages – rounded out the first team. Hughes posted the top score on Tuesday with a 4-under 66.

Gonzaga Prep’s top four players scored averages between 71.3 and 75, while LC’s top four checked in at 71 to 74.6.

Gonzaga Prep and Lewis and Clark advance to District 8, playing Monday and Tuesday at Sun Willows in an effort to qualify for the State 4A tournament the following week at Indian Canyon.

Cheney, Mead and Ridgline qualified for the District 8 3A boys tournament Wednesday and next Thursday at MeadowWood. The Mead, Ridgeline and Ferris girls compete on the same two days in Liberty Lake.