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Only WL can slow Crusaders

The Lions win the state title by 25 shots while Jesuit settles for second
by: Miles Vance AT STATE — Jesuit’s Casey Briggs led her team to second place at the Class 6A state tournament at Emerald Valley Golf Club on Tuesday.

EUGENE - Sometimes, you just have to take off your hat and tip it to your opponent.

Jesuit's girls golf team did just that on Tuesday after playing their way to second place at the Class 6A state tournament at Emerald Valley Golf Club. The Crusaders shot 327 on Monday, came back with a 325 on Tuesday and finished at 652, but thanks to West Linn's stellar play, it wasn't nearly enough.

The Lions shot 316 on Monday to lead by 11 strokes, then bettered that effort on Tuesday with a 311 that gave it a 627 and a 25-stroke victory over the talented Crusaders.

'I thought made a good run at it, and I thought we played well,' said Jesuit junior Tess Jennings, the Metro medalist who shot 78-74-152 to finish fifth overall. 'But West Linn, they just played so well.'

'We went in (to Tuesday's round) saying 'Eleven shots isn't that much,'' said Jesuit coach Katy Williams. 'But you've got to give credit to West Linn. They played very, very well.'

Indeed. The Lions crowned the tournament's individual champion in senior Morgan Thompson (she shot 73-71-144), got a seventh-place finish from Sarah Archuleta (76-78-154), and a 10th from Sharon Shin (80-78-158) to pull away.

As good as West Linn was, the Crusaders were a very solid second. In addition to Jennings' success, Jesuit got a 76-77-153 from senior Casey Briggs (she was sixth overall), an 84-84-168 from junior Katie Craven (18th overall), an 89-90-179 from freshman Helen Davis, and a 100-104-104 from senior Kelly Strader and Amelia Karakas.

And the Crusaders were satisfied with what they'd accomplished, even if it didn't result in a team victory.

'We did all right, a lot better than last year,' Briggs said. 'I'm extremely happy with how it worked out. We got second at state but it felt like a first.'

'It was a nice finish,' Jennings agreed. 'It will be sad losing Casey and Kelly, but it gives us fire for next year. We'll come back and try to get first.'

Lincoln, which took the Metro League's other team berth to state, placed sixth overall at 744, led by 29th-place finisher Kaija Perkiomaki's 88-92-180.

Among the Metro's three individual qualifiers, Sunset senior Angela Han finished with a flourish, shooting 88 on Monday and 77 on Tuesday to close her high school career at 165 and a tie for 13th place.

'It was a good note to end her career,' Sunset coach Brent Buell said of Han, a four-time state qualifier. 'She worked on her accuracy today, her chipping was better and she was able to make a lot of those 5 to 10-foot putts. I'm so proud of her.'

Westview senior Nicole Smith played well too, shooting 85-84-169 to tie for 18th, while Southridge senior Hailey Speck went 88-91-179 to tie for 24th.