by: Michael Cade, Dalton Meade putts on the front nine at Rose City Golf Course in Portland.

PORTLAND - A beautiful spring day at Rose City Golf Course made Sandy's April 4 conference tournament seem like a relaxing walk in the park.

The Pioneers - without their top gun Sierra Warner - put together a solid performance in finishing at eighth place with a mark of 484.

Sandy's top representative on the day was Jordan Shields, who golfed a 55 on the front nine and a 59 on the back to produce a team-best score of 114.

Rounding out Sandy's top four were Dalton Meade (62-56-118), Becky Van Ausdell (57-62-119) and Danielle Behrends (66-67-133).

Most girls indicated the course was fairly user-friendly, but Van Ausdell noted that hole No. 16 was particularly troublesome.

'No. 16 was tough,' she said. 'You were either on a fairway or a hill.'

Hole No. 1 - a par 3 - seemed to give a number of girls problems too, but that might have been due to first-hole jitters.

'One of the girls I was playing with had family that was watching,' Centennial's Darcey Huecker said. 'So, she got a little nervous.'

David Douglas coach Tim Hurley also indicated the course had a fair degree of pitch and that many of the girls had never played it before.

The young Pioneers seemed up for the challenge, though, if a comment relayed by Sandy coach Molly Nealy was any indication.

'I think I like Danielle (Behrends)' quote when we were talking earlier today,' Nealy said. ' 'Each new hole is a blank (slate).' '

St. Mary's placed first in overall team scores for the day, and medallist honors went to Barlow's Megan Miller and Hood River's Sandra Jeffries, who tied each other with a low score of 88.

Despite her individual win, though, Miller was far from pleased with the final results.

'My putting was kind of a struggle today,' she said. 'But I'll definitely be working on that.'

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