We worked so hard this season and it finally paid off. Taking second two years in a row, you want to improve, and we finally got it this year. —Box Elder golfer McCall Uyematsu
NORTH OGDEN — McCall Uyematsu and the Bees finally broke through.
After finishing second in the 4A tournament in each of the last two years, Box Elder High School claimed the first girls golf state championship in school history Wednesday at The Barn Golf Club.
Led by Uyematsu, the tournament's individual medalist, and two other golfers who finished in the top 10, the Bees put together a Stableford-adjusted team total score of 306 to take the title over Region 5 rival Bonneville, which won the previous two state championships but had to settle for second place this time around with a score of 294.
Skyline was third, a point back at 293, while Bountiful finished fourth at 287. Timpview and Hillcrest wound up tied for fifth place at 275.
The team title chase looked like it was going to be a tight dogfight all the way until late Wednesday afternoon, when Uyematsu's round of 79, which computed to a Stableford-adjusted score of 83, went up on the board to basically put the Bees out of reach.
"It was awesome," Uyematsu, a senior, said of winning the team title. "It feels so awesome. We worked so hard this season and it finally paid off. Taking second two years in a row, you want to improve, and we finally got it this year.
"We all just played pretty steady and we all played how we know how to play, and it paid off.
"I putted really well," she said in sizing up the key to her medalist round. "I kept it with the two-putts, got it there (on the greens) in regulation and kept it to two putts and parred a lot. I only had one birdie, but the putting definitely kept me in the game."
Uyematsu got plenty of crucial help from a couple of junior teammates, as Mallary Marx finished fourth in the individual standings with 78 points, while Bailey Craynor came in tied for eighth place at 76. Senior Andra Walker and junior Ashley Pyle each had 69 points to contribute to the Bees' first-place team total, where only the top four scores are tabulated.
"It was an awesome day," Box Elder coach Kevin Peterson said. "It was a little nerve-wracking, because the girls started out not playing as well as they normally have been, but it turned out great.
"I was out there with McCall with about four holes to play and we were wondering if she could win individually, so we were trying to get that. And with Bonneville on the other side of the golf course, we had no clue really where we were at as a team. So at that point we were trying to get her to win the individual title and then let the chips fall where they do after that.
"It's been that way all year," he said of the rivalry with region foe Bonneville. "I think we won half of the matches during region and they won the other half. We had to win the very last region tournament to win the region championship. We were tied going into region, so it's definitely been a battle all year."
Monica Yeates of Timpanogos finished second in the medalist chase with an 81, and Orem's McKenzie Maughn was third at 79, followed by the Bees' Marx at 78. The trio of Logan's Kathleen Miller, Hillcrest's Audrey Kriss and Skyline's Noel Bell were tied for fifth at 77, and Craynor, Bountiful's Carly Anderson and Bonneville's Jamie Garner were tied for eighth at 76 to round out the top 10.
Anderson had a highlight moment of her own when she recorded her first hole-in-one — and what's believed to be the first ace in the state tournament history of high school girls golf since the Utah High School Activities Association began sanctioning the sport seven years ago — on the 14th hole.
"I wasn't expecting it at all, to be perfectly honest," Anderson said of her memorable shot, which sailed some 120 yards and then rolled backward into the cup. "I thought I hit it long but it rolled down the hill and it went in and I was like, 'Whoo!'
"It went, I would say, like 15 yards past the green and it got on top of the hill and hit this bare patch and just rolled right back in.
"When I hit it, it was like 'Dang, I hit it too far,' and then it rolled and I couldn't see it," she said. "And then everyone started cheering and I was like all right, I'll take it.' I'm glad it's at state — it's awesome; it's wickedly awesome."
And on Wednesday at The Barn, so were Uyematsu and the Bees.
4A Girls State Golf Championship
At The Barn Golf Club, North Ogden
(Modified Stableford scoring system)
1. Box Elder, 306; 2. Bonneville, 294; 3. Skyline, 293; 4. Bountiful, 287; 5. (tie), Hillcrest, Timpview, 275; 7. Logan, 268; 8. Timpanogos, 259; 9. Orem, 256; 10. Westlake, 253.
Top individual scores
83 — McCall Uyematsu, Box Elder
81 — Monica Yeates, Timpanogos
79 — McKenzie Maughn, Orem
78 — Mallary Marx, Box Elder
77 — Audrey Kriss, Hillcrest; Kathleen Miller, Logan; Noel Bell, Skyline
76 — Bailey Craynor, Box Elder; Jamie Garner, Bonneville; Carly Anderson, Bountiful
75 — Tallie Alder, Bonneville
74 — Alex Larsen, Skyline; Karen Valcarce, Bountiful; Katie Poulsen, Timpview
73 — Annalee Chadwick, Bonneville; Quincy Anderson, Timpanogos; Hannah Bieker, Westlake; Alyssa Colby, Herriman
72 — Gracie Myers, Bountiful; Richgina Prom, Logan; Carol Foote, HighlandComment on this story
71 — Alex Marble, Skyline; Julie Jacobs, Skyline; Chelynne Lee, Timpview
70 — Jessica Hancock, Bonneville; Brenna Hislop, Timpview
69 — Andra Walker, Box Elder; Ashley Pyle, Box Elder; Kenzi Kendell, Bonneville; Rebekah Moon, Skyline; Katie Nyhus, Orem; Haylee Schoonover, Westlake; Michelle Isom, Provo; Haley Case, Roy