Lady Cougars are Division 2 champs

By: 
Mikaela Koski

Photo by Jeromey Burke
          
            The Columbus Lady Cougars, from left: Olivia Hess, Chloe Ketchum, Bailey Johannes, Baylee Gordon, and Karsen Marjerison

Absarokee sophomore Zacc Degele tees off on Monday.

Park City junior Austin Popp eyes the hole in Columbus.

The Columbus girls golf team earned the hardware it deserved by finishing off an impressive regular season with a first place divisional trophy on Monday.

The dominance showed by the Lady Cougars throughout the season was again on display at the Division 2 golf meet at Eagle Rock Golf Course in Shepherd. The Columbus team took first place by 39 strokes, with a team score of 404.

Senior Bailey Johannes not only led the Cougars with a score of 87, she led the entire field of competitors to take home the individual title as well. Senior Olivia Hess finished the meet in fourth place with a score of 93.

Karsen Marjerison, a junior, earned eighth place after shooting a 106. Senior Baylee Gordon and sophomore Chloe Ketchum rounded out the team with scores of 118 and 125, respectively.

The Lady Cougars will advance to the state meet next week to play as a team. Johannes, Hess, and Marjerison, by finishing in the top 15, have also earned the opportunity to play as individuals at state.

Coach Jeromey Burke was very proud of his team. He said the group-would have probably achieved their goal of a team score in the 300s had there not been a rhythm-breaking rain delay about halfway through the round.

Burke feels Johannes definitely earned the individual title with how she has been playing. He noted that she has gained confidence throughout the last year, and it really shows.

As for Hess, Burke mentioned that she was actually sick during the divisional meet to the point Burke was not positive she would be able to complete the round. For Hess to have finished in fourth place with a score of 93, then, “is a testament to just how tough she is.”

“The mental side of the game is something that Bailey and Olivia really excel at and it’s shown all year, and it’s why they are consistently in the top 5,” Burke explained.

Marjerison was “really coming on down the stretch,” and Burke said that besides one bad hole, she played a great round on Monday. Burke expects her to play well next week.

Burke noted that Loyola, Three Forks, and Shelby will all be tough competitors at state.

“The girls will just really have to be ready to compete and give everything they have,” Burke said. “If they do that, I think we’ll have every opportunity to be right there with the top teams when the tournament is over.”

The Cougar boys have only had enough competitors to field a team for the last couple meets, so Burke was very impressed that the group finished only one stroke short of landing in the top four and qualifying for state.

Sophomore Trey Stampfel and junior Gabe Brocklebank tied for seventh with scores of 90. Sophomore Corbin Smith put up a 108, and sophomore Brayden Barker shot a 110. Freshman Weston Mitchum scored a 131.

Both Stampfel and Brocklebank qualified for state individually with their performances at divisionals.

“They have both really put in a lot of work to give themselves a chance to [qualify for state], and they knew they had to play well, so I was very happy for them to achieve that goal,” Burke said.

The Cougar coach feels the boys team has a chance to be competitive moving forward. Mitchum had never played 18 holes of golf before this season, and Burke is proud of the way Mitchum stepped up to the challenge. Smith and Barker made a late push and showed consistency by the end of the season. Burke believes if the younger members of the team put in some time and effort in the off-season, they will all see the benefits next year.

ABSAROKEE

Last Saturday, the Husky golf team traveled to White Sulphur Springs to take on Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course.

Hana Kelly played a solid round, finishing in second place with a score of 91.

Two Huskies qualified to compete in the state meet while at White Sulphur Springs. Mikol Degele shot an 88 and Simon Hanson scored an 89 to punch their tickets to Fairmont.

On Monday, the Absarokee golfers played in Columbus.

Kelly again took second, shooting a 94. Maggie Howes came in at fourth place with a score of 104, and Haley Richardson shot a 158.

On the boys’ side, Mikol Degele finished in fourth place with a score of 83. Zacc Degele tied with Hanson for 12th place with a score of 96. Andrew Espeland shot a 124, and Dylan Brown rounded out the group with a 155.

With one meet left in the regular season, Zacc Degle, Mikol Degele, and Hanson have all qualified for state. At least three individuals must qualify from a school to post a team score, so the Huskies will be competing as a team, as well as individuals.

According to Feddes, this is the first Absarokee boys golf team to ever qualify for state.

As for the girls, Kelly, Howes, and Chloe Flynn have all earned the opportunity to play at state.

“Even due to the crazy weather this year, the group we have qualified is starting to play well and is excited to get to Fairmont,” Feddes said. “We haven’t had an individual placer since 2011, and this group is hoping to change that.”

PARK CITY

On Wednesday, May 2, the Park City Panthers played at Pine Ridge Golf Course in Roundup. Freshman Tucker Johnstone and junior Tristen Johnstone tied for third place with scores of 78. Junior Austin Popp shot an 84, and senior Talon Johnstone scored an 89.

The Panthers were back at it last Saturday in White Sulphur Springs. Popp led the group with a score of 82, good for a fourth place finish. Tucker was right behind in fifth place with an 83. Tristen scored a 91, and Talon shot a 93.

At Monday’s invitational in Columbus, Talon took second place with an 82. Tristen took fifth place and Tucker took sixth place, each with a score of 83. Popp scored 91, and freshman Chason Fenton rounded out the group with a 139.

Talon, Tristen, and Tucker were the first three Class C boys to qualify for state at the beginning of the golf season. Popp qualified for state shortly after. Park City has enough qualifiers to field a team at the state meet.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Absarokee and Park City golfers have one more chance to qualify for state. Both teams will be competing in Livingston at a meet hosted by Gardiner on Thursday.

The state meets for both Class B and Class C will take place early next week. Practice rounds will be held on Monday, and the competition will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Class B state meet will take place at Eagle Rock Golf Course in Shepherd, a course the Cougars have played on twice already this season.

Class C teams will take on the Fairmont Golf Course in Anaconda. The state preview meet scheduled for the end of April was cancelled due to weather, so the Class C golfers have yet to play on the course this year.

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