The high school golf season wrapped up last month, but not without making a few chips in history.
Three Federal Way high school golf teams qualified for the West Central District tournament to compete for spots at the WIAA State Championship, both of which will be held in spring with dates to be determined.
Decatur’s girls golf team and Federal Way’s boys golf team stood out among the rest with their performances at the two-day 4A NPSL Medalist Tournament on Oct. 15 and 16 at Gold Mountain Golf Course in Bremerton.
The girls golf teams played on the Cascade course, while the boys competed on the Olympic course at Gold Mountain.
“The Decatur girls golf team wrapped up one of their more successful seasons in recent history,” said Decatur High School girls golf head coach, Steve Gorringe.
The Lady Gators finished with a 9-1 league record, the nearly undefeated season a result of only one loss during an away match against Enumclaw.
At the NPSL Medalist tournament, the Lady Gators finished third with a total score of 726 total (+150) and were narrowly defeated by Kentwood and Kennedy Catholic who tied for first place with scores of 709 (+133).
With this performance, the Lady Gators earned an invitation to the West Central District tournament this spring to qualify for state and plan to avenge Enumclaw for their only regular season loss, Gorringe said.
At the tournament, Decatur sophomore Claire Xu shot 72 and 68 the following day, winning the NPSL Olympic Medalist division and MVP for the second year in a row.
She is also the top point earner in the league, which solidifies her honors of Player of the Year for 2018. Last year, Xu placed third in the WIAA State Golf Championship.
Xu, along with teammate Camelia Bryant, earned a spot on the NPSL Olympic Division First Team.
Freshman Bryant finished the tournament in 25th place with 188 strokes. Freshman Jordyn Lewis tied for 36th place with a score of 197. Other Decatur finishers include Emma Soo (201) and Ruth Magana (231).
Gorringe said he would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the Decatur players for an outstanding, fun and memorable season.
“This is a good, young team made up of predominantly sophomores and freshmen,” he said. “Keep your eyes on us because we are going to cause a lot of damage over the next few years.”
A late disqualification of the Thomas Jefferson girls golf team due to playing ineligible players at the NPSL tournament allowed Federal Way High School girls team to secure the 10th and final place, moving onward to districts with a total score of 926 (+350).
Federal Way girls golf finishers included Alyssa Iverson (187), Grace Ellis (225), Joy Ellis (239), Katie Astruon (275) and Hosanna Ellis (297).
Although TJHS was eliminated as a team, the remaining girls golfers moved into the pool of individual qualifiers, according to Sam Reed, the director of athletics at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School.
From Thomas Jefferson, Angel Swamny (179), Stephanie Burnham (184), and Serenity Swamy (189) are individual district qualifiers.
From Todd Beamer High School, twin sisters Kelsey and Kayla Yi continued their legacy of greatness on the green. The juniors were awarded NPSL Olympic division first team honors and qualified for state for the third year in a row.
At the Medalist tournament Kelsey Yi placed third with 151 strokes, followed by Kayla Yi in fourth place with 159 strokes.
Kelsey Yi also won the Southgate Electric Twin Lakes Amateur Women’s division Oct. 6-7, with a score of 76 on the first day and scored under par on the second day with a 71.
Todd Beamer senior Rebecca Francis is an alternate for the spring tournament with a score of 214.
“All three are outstanding students in the classroom and on the golf course,” said Todd Beamer girls golf head coach Tom Wallat. “The Yi sisters have goals to go to an Ivy league school on the East coast and play golf as well. Rebecca wants to pursue a teaching degree and coach soccer and golf.”
On the boys side, Federal Way High School boys golf placed 10th at the NPSL Medalist tournament on the Olympic course with a total score of 713.
Decatur’s boys team finished 13th with 771 strokes and a 5-5 league record. Decatur finishers include Spencer Sugg (185), Matthew Yi (189), Logan Wilmoth (192), Mason Hymer (205) and Cole Jackson (215). Both Sugg and Yi are individual qualifiers for the West Central District tournament. From Thomas Jefferson, Caleb Graham qualified for district’s with a score of 180.
The Federal Way Eagles tied for second in the league with Enumclaw, finishing the regular season with an 8-2 record.
Junior Carter Berry and senior Cole Bakker tied for 27th place at the Medalist tournament with a total score of 166. Other Federal Way finishers included Zach Victor (187), Noah Palowski (196), and Jake Sordahl (207).
Berry earned MVP of the league and a First Team spot on the NPSL Olympic division this year.
He is a team leader for the Eagles and has been a medalist in each match this year, said Federal Way boys golf head coach Bart Turchin. In matches against both Beamer and Decatur, Berry shot 1-under.
The golfers now have a few months’ break before the spring tournaments where the competition will heat back up after the wet weather pause.
“I love the competitive aspect and how you have to rely on yourself,” Turchin said about the game. “No one can stop you from being really good. It’s just you against the golf course.”