The Lions win state for the third time in five years and their first title since 2011

From left, head coach Bob Turnquist, assistant coaches Chris Fenner and Molly Peters and players Amanda Elich, Chloe Barnes, Sarah Archuleta, Katie Fillion and Kristin Elich stand with the state championship trophy they earned at this week's state tournament at Emerald Valley. West Linn’s girls golf team is back in the winner’s circle for the third time in five years. The Lions capped one of the most dominant seasons in the program’s history this week, living up to their own high expectations with a 30-stroke victory at the state tournament at Emerald Valley in Creswell.

The Lions went virtually all year without being truly tested, sweeping through league and winning the State Preview event against some of the state’s best competition.

Despite the mental burden of being the prohibitive favorites, the Lions were calm and collected over two days on a difficult course, firing a two-day total of 648 to top second-place St. Mary’s.

“Conditions were tough. The course dried out and it was windy but the girls stuck to their gameplan,” coach Bob Turnquist said.

Sarah Archuleta, who was a freshman on the varsity team during West Linn’s last state championship, was the team’s top individual, finishing in a tie for fourth, capping a fantastic high school career.

Archuleta had a terrific opening day of the tournament, carding three birdies and three bogeys en route to an even-par 72 that put her just two strokes off the lead.

On Tuesday, the course got more difficult and just one player broke par. After a 40 on the front-nine, Archuleta had a pair of birdies on the back and finished with a 79. She was one of just seven players to card two rounds in the 70s.

Amanda Elich, the district champion this season, shot a 79 on the first day of competition, posting four birdies on the front nine in an up and down round.

Birdies were harder to come by on the second day but Elich did well to avoid big holes en route to an 83. She finished in a tie for 11th.

“I figured if we could maintain our lead through nine holes on the second day that we’d have it and we increased our lead,” Turnquist said.

Kristin Elich, also a freshman on West Linn’s 2011 state championship team, finished in a tie for 14th, just one stroke behind her sister.

Kristin fired an 85 on the first day but rebounded impressively with a 78 on the second day in one of her best rounds of the season. Elich closed with a flurry, birdying three of her last six holes to help the Lions close out the win.

Katie Fillion shot rounds of 87 and 85 and was consistent on both days, finishing in a tie for 22nd.

Chloe Barnes had rounds of 87 and 93, posting a 42 on the back nine of the opening day of competition, highlighted by a birdie on the 10th hole.

West Linn will lose two of its top golfers in Archuleta and Kristin Elich but returns three stellar sophomores.

The Lions also boasted a JV team with players capable of scoring in the low 80s and the team should be reloaded and ready for a title defense next spring.

“Our depth should keep us competitive for a while,” Turnquist said.

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