SUNNYSIDE — A win is a win is a win.
That’s all that matters for the Eastmont girls' golf team, who won the district championship by default Wednesday morning at Black Rock Creek despite coming in second place and finishing eight strokes behind Davis.
Because of the new format that was put in place this year, whichever team won districts had to send a five-player contingent to state to compete for the overall team championship. The Pirates didn’t have enough players to go, so in a rare turn of events, they deferred to the Wildcats, who will be sending Emilee Wentworth, Tyna Burt, Maddie Piepel, Allison Theiler and Jillian Paxton to compete at Hangman Valley next week.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win districts, but I’m very happy that we are going to state,” Eastmont head coach Pat Welch said after Wednesday’s round. “I felt we were playing well enough, we were just a little tight today.”
The conditions were perfect down in Sunnyside, but the scores were high for nearly the entire field, with only three girls breaking 100.
One of which was Wentworth, who carded a 10-over 82 and placed second.
“She played fantastic,” Welch said of the junior. “Today was her best score of the year.”
Not a bad time to throw up your best round of the year. Burt and Paxton finished sixth and seventh with scores of 108 and 111 respectively, and then Theiler rounded out the Wildcats' scoring with a 121.
“The scores were astronomical for all the teams and much higher than normal,” Welch said. “We played there a month ago and the course was in much better shape today, so you would have thought the scores would be lower.”
But they’ll take it regardless. Eastmont has never sent more than four to state — a feat the Wildcats accomplished in 2007 as a 3A school and placed third — of course, this is the first year of the new format.
Wenatchee came in last out of the four competing schools, with Courtney Brown tallying the Panthers top score with a 115. Freshmen Ella Berry, Ashleigh Willowby and Lilli Moubray carded a 117, 120 and 135 and sophomore Courtney Ulrich finished with her season with a 122.
Barring any late-spring torrential downpours, the Wildcats will have the rest of the week to practice before they head to Hangman Valley for a practice round on Monday. The event begins Tuesday morning, with the field set at 112.
Like the boys, there will be a cut after Tuesday’s round, eliminating half of the teams and leaving the top-30 individuals (plus ties) for the second round. Only the top-4 teams and top-8 individuals will be awarded. Even if the overall team is eliminated after day one, any individual who makes the cut will be allowed to compete on the second day for a chance to win the individual state title.
Pairings and tee times will be posted on the WIAA website Friday at 5 p.m.