Valiant boys rounding into form on the links

The Valiants take their shot against some of the state's best on Monday
by: MILES VANCE, WATCHING — Valley Catholic’s Jackson Gambee eyes a fairway shot on Monday at Quail Valley Golf Course.

BANKS - Bigger. Better. Stronger.

The Valley Catholic boys golf team is proving itself all those and more midway through the 2008 season. The Valiants took another step in their successful spring season on Monday when they finished fourth in the Northwest Invitational Tournament at Quail Valley Golf Course.

Valley Catholic shot 344 in the 18-hole event and trailed just talented tournament champion Westside Christian (291), Catlin Gabel (330) and Portland Adventist (343) in the overall standings.

'That was our best overall team score of the year,' said Valley Catholic coach Josh Unruh. 'If we can keep doing that, we can make a run at making the state tournament again.'

The Valiants, in addition to shooting their best team score, used an impressive bit of balance to forge that number - their number four and five players, seniors Scott Kelly and Nathan Hiedt, shot their best rounds on Monday, both finishing at 85.

'The bright spot was that our fourth and fifth men were our best guys,' Unruh said. 'They're usually in the 90s but they both played really well yesterday.'

Also contributing on Monday at Quail Valley were sophomore Spencer Barnard at 86, senior Patrick Ihlan at 88 and junior Jackson Gambee at 88.

'They all were great yesterday and we were really encouraged by it,' Unruh said.

Encouraging too was how close the Valiants came to District 1 favorite Catlin Gabel on Monday.

'I'd like to think that if we had a good day and they had a bad day, we might have a shot at them,' Unruh said. 'Westside Christian is just head-over-heels better than everyone else, and Catlin Gabel, obviously, has some very good golfers too.'

Valley Catholic girls

While the Valiant girls were not in action Monday, they've been making waves of their own this spring.

Freshman Lindsay Harmon can claim a fourth-place finish at Bandon Dunes earlier in the year, an 81 and a first-place finish at Quail Valley in a District 1 tournament, a 78 and a tournament championship at Arrowhead Golf Course, and an 81 and another top finish at the Canby Invitational

Teammate Birte Klaussman, a foreign exchange student from Germany, has also had her fair share of success this season, finishing second at Bandon Dunes, and placing second to Harmon with an 82 at Quail Valley.