Bellarmine preps for another state title

By Candace Buckner, Columbian staff writer



Class 4A Girls

Where: Club Green Meadows, Vancouver.

Layout: 5,777 yards, par 73.


Alivia Brown, Bellarmine Prep 73

Katie Lee, Central Kitsap 76

Stephanie Sewell, Kentridge 76

Today’s schedule: First tee times are at 7:30 a.m.; leaders tee off at 9:40 a.m.

After the first day of the Class 4A state girls' golf tournament, the three-time defending champions from Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma positioned themselves to contend for a fourth consecutive trophy.

During a rainy round at Club Green Meadows on Tuesday, six Bellarmine Prep golfers made the cut at 91, led by reigning individual champion Alivia Brown who shot an even-par 73 to lead the clubhouse.

"That's kind of where she has been all year," said Bellarmine Prep coach Mark Bender about his junior golfer who has already committed to play at Washington State. "She's steady. She's just got it all together."

Bender and the rest of the Bellarmine crew waited at the outdoors leaderboard to learn if all seven golfers would make the cut. However, the last teammate, Maddie Schultz, missed the mark by only two strokes.

"They all root for each other and the worst thing they (would) want tonight was for one of them to not make it," Bender said. "That would be devastating to all of us. We came in as a team and we leave as one."

Three local golfers also endured the wet conditions to make the cut and continue play on Wednesday.

Union freshman Reilly Whitlock, who recently placed second at her district tournament, finished the day tied for seventh-place with a 79 on her scorecard.

Whitlock becomes the first Union golfer since Belex Cheng in 2011 to be in the running for a state medal. Cheng, who finished 13th that year, did not make the cut in her this season, her senior year.

However, Skyview's Emma Wriston shot an 89 while Elisa Filuk of Camas showed poise beyond her freshman experience to bounce back from a slow start and also advanced with an 89.

Filuk triple-bogeyed her very first hole at state golf, admitting to a case of nerves. However, after her initial drive landed near a tree, Filuk gave herself a pep talk.

"I just said, 'You have 17 more holes to go. Do not put your head down now,' " Filuk recalled.

After her first hole, Filuk recovered with a birdie, back-to-back pars and another birdie and finished the first nine with a 42.

"I just kept going," Filuk said, "which I was proud of. I calmed my nerves down and just played the game I know I love."