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It's all about quality

Valley Catholic's lone two girls golfers both hope to reach state in '08
by: MILES VANCE, AARRGGHH — Valley Catholic junior Birte Klusmann reacts to a missed birdie putt on the sixth hole at Stone Creek Golf Club in Monday’s La Salle Invitational.

OREGON CITY - It's all about quality over quantity for the Valley Catholic girls golf team this season.

The Valiant girls team counts just two members on its varsity roster this season, but those two players - freshman Lindsay Harmon and junior German exchange student Birte Klusmann - are absolutely making their presences felt in 2008.

Harmon won the La Salle Invitational Tournament on Monday at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City, shooting a 10-over-par 82 while Klusmann came through with an 89 and a third-place finish in the day's overall standings. And they did it in their first-ever trip to Stone Creek.

'They liked it,' Unruh said. 'It was a tough course for them and they struggled a bit on the back side, but they liked it.'

Harmon, who has been one of her league's top players all season long, posted her Monday win despite slightly injuring her back with three holes remaining to play.

'She just went down after a ball a little harder than normal and caught her club on the ground a little bit,' Unruh said. 'She told me about it after the (15th) hole and was in pain the rest of the way.'

But Harmon shook off that setback and finished bogey, par, par on the day's final three holes.

Now, the Valiant pair have their sights set on the two-day District 1 Tournament, set Monday and Tuesday at Santiam Golf Club in Stayton. While Valley Catholic won't compete for either of the league's team berths to state, Harmon and Klusmann are both in position to win individual berths to the 4A/3A/2A/1A state tournament. In addition to District 1's top two teams, the top three individuals from other teams will also qualify for state, and Unruh believes both Harmon and Klusmann have a good chance at winning one of those spots.

'They're excited for Monday," Unruh said. "They just have to go out and perform."

The District 1 Tournament opens at noon Monday and Tuesday at Santiam Golf Course.

Boys Golf

Similarly, the Valiant boys team is also looking forward to a big finish to its 2008 season.

Valley Catholic's boys will play in their half of the District 1 Tournament on Monday and Tuesday at Forest Hills Golf Course in Cornelius. Play opens at 9:30 a.m. each day for the 36-hole tournament.

"I think we have a great shot at finishing second," Unruh said of his boys team. "Catlin Gabel should run away with it, but we've been 40 shots clear of the third-place team most of the year."

The boys team includes seniors Patrick Ihlan, Scott Kelly and Nathan Hiedt, sophomore Spencer Barnard and junior Jackson Gambee.

"It's been a really fun year," Unruh said. "Especially with Lindsay and Birte's success and the guys team with all five shooting in the 80s."