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Seniors lead Colt girls to state tournament.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

Thurston's girls golf team will make its debut at the OSAA Class 4A girls golf tournament, while North Eugene's boys make their return to the 4A boys tournament this morning.

Thurston's girls qualified for state for the first time and will travel to the OGA Members Course at Tukwila in Woodburn, while North Eugene heads to Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis to make its first appearance at the boys tournament since 1996.

The Colts, who started their girls golf program in 1996, qualified for state by placing second at the Midwestern League district tournament last week. Freshman Erica Omlid led the way with a two-day total of 165 to finish fourth in her first trip to districts.

The Colts were tied for second with Marshfield at 387 following the first round, but they shot 360 on the second day to finish 15 strokes ahead of the Pirates.

"I really believed it would be close and felt the difference would be that we had three seniors in our lineup, while Marshfield had sophomores," Thurston coach Kevin Durfee said. "I thought our seniors would knuckle down and they did."

Seniors Sabreena Newman, Kayleigh Shorey and Lauranne Crooks have been to districts each of the past three years.

"They've been good kids, real bright, and have a good golf mentality," Durfee said. "I knew they would provide enough solid depth that we would be OK. That is what it takes at districts."

Sheldon won the district title led by a 1-2 finish from Kendra Little and Dana Anderson. Little shot 149 to win medalist honors as a freshman, while Anderson shot 153.

The Irish, who finished 16th at state last year, are making their ninth straight trip to state.

North Eugene's boys went to state three years in a row from 1994-96, but then came a drought as Mike Babb started to rebuild the program. The Highlanders shot 624 over two days last week to finish second to Sheldon at districts.

"At the beginning of the year I felt we had the second-best team in the league, and then when we got to the middle of the season I had a lot of doubts," Babb said. "There were several tournaments where we had a couple guys perform really well and then a couple others didn't. We never put together a full tournament where we shot well as a team, but as individuals each one of our kids has played well at times."

The Highlanders raised $9,000 this year to take a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and they finished 38th out of 111 teams in a three-round tournament.

Sophomore Arlo Mallery shot 149 to place second at districts. With two sophomores and two freshmen in the lineup, the Highlanders hope today is the start of another streak of state appearances.

"Our goal is to improve on districts," Babb said. "We're not going in thinking we will win this. I don't think we're quite there yet. But maybe in a year or two we can compete for a state championship."

Sheldon is hoping to compete for the title this year, but with only one senior in the lineup the future looks bright for the Irish as well.

District champion Chris Polski leads the Irish, while Sam Dukeminier and Justin Ahrens are back off last year's team that placed third at state. The Irish finished 23 strokes behind Tualatin, which returns all five golfers off last year's title team.

Siuslaw sophomore Jesse Schutte is one of the favorites entering the 3A boys tourney at The Ridge Course at Eagle Crest in Redmond. Schutte has won every tournament he has played this year and shot 148 to capture the District 5 title.

Schutte finished sixth at state as a freshman, while teammate Dale Raybould is back after finishing fourth for Siuslaw, which finished third as a team.

Sisters is the defending champion, and the Outlaws return brothers David and Christian Green, who finished first and second, respectively, at state last year.

Marist qualified for state along with North Bend, which won the District 3 title, and Sutherlin.

The 3A/2A/1A girls tournament is across the street from the boys at The Resort Course at Eagle Ridge. Marist, La Pine, Reedsport and North Bend all qualified.

Reedsport's boys are at the 2A/1A tournament at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City.
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Title Annotation:Sports; North Eugene's boys are in the state golf tournament for the first time since 1996
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 17, 2004
Words:734
Previous Article:Students defined by their desire.
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