They all played well. Zoe played her best, but the whole team shot well. —Rich coach Cody Lundgren
WEST JORDAN — The Rich girls golf team was able to practice for the first time this year in late March.
Coach Cody Lundgren remembered it, in particular, because it was the day after a school play. When they arrived at the course — at Bear Lake, about 25 miles away — there were still patches of snow and this came after a warmer-than-usual winter.
“We could only chip and putt work on our short game,” he said. “But that’s how you score.”
The Rebels did what they could, turning that drawback into an advantage that they proved by claiming the 1A state championship Thursday afternoon. Rich rode Zoe Dean’s 97 and consistent efforts by McKina Stacey, Emalee Willis, Linsie Barker and Hannah Coburn, who all scored 107 or less, to beat Milford and five other of Utah’s smallest schools at the Mountain View Golf Course.
“They all played well,” said Lundgren, who doubles as Rich’s boys basketball coach. “Zoe played her best, but the whole team shot well.
“They played hard and didn’t get down even after a bad shot,” he added.
Later, the Rebel girls celebrated outside their school bus in the golf course parking lot with cheers and shrieks and then unwrapped an onion, a unique keepsake they used to remind them to pound the ball hard — a trait they had to learn later in the season after the weather warmed.
Evidently, it worked because Rich took advantage of Mountain View’s long, wide fairways to win the tourney after finishing in second place last year. The Rebels defeated Milford by nine strokes. Manila and Bryce Valley finished tied for third place, nearly 60 strokes back.
Manila’s Sylvie Anderson, who also has to deal with living in a cold climate, was the tournament medalist, carding an impressive 90 on Thursday.
1A Girls State Golf Tournament Results
At Mountain View Golf Course, West Jordan
Team scores: 1, Rich 413. 2, Milford 422. 3, Manila, Bryce Valley 472. 5, Valley 478. 6, Monticello 486. 7, Diamond Ranch 510.
Individual results: 1, Sylvie Anderson (Manila) 90. 2, Bailey Barnes (Milford) 93. 3, Kapri Orton (Panguitch) 96. 4, Zoe Dean (Rich) 97. 5, Karleen Roundy (Bryce Valley), Tymbr Black (Monticello) 103. 7, Linsie Barker (Rich), Analise Wiseman (Milford) 104. 9, McKina Stacey (Rich), Emalee Willis (Rich) 107. 11, Hannah Coburn (Rich), Emma Clement (ICS). 13, Kodee Thomas (Manila). 14, Trinity Mayer (Milford) 110. 15, Kayla Atwood (Bryce Valley) 111. 16, Alexa May (Diamond Ranch) 114. 17, Jaycee Rose (Milford), Bethany Stout (Valley) 115. 19, Shayla Spencer (Valley) 116. 20, Taylor Alger (Milford) 117.
Bruce Smith grew up in Boise, Idaho, and is a longtime newspaper sports writer. He writes primarily high-school sports articles for the Deseret News.