State golf takes over region today

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter


photoColumbia River's Chloe Bartek.

(/The Columbian)

State golf coverage

The Columbian will be staffing all four high school state golf tournaments in Southwest Washington.

Tim Martinez will be at the 4A boys tournament at Camas Meadows.

Candace Buckner will be at the 4A girls tournament at Club Green Meadows.

Paul Valencia will be at the 3A boys tournament at Tri-Mountain.

Paul Danzer will be the the 3A girls tournament at Lewis River.

The Columbian will run a live chat beginning at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday with updates from all four of these tournaments, plus others around the state.

To follow the live chat, visit http://www.columb...

Chloe Bartek has placed 15th, 17th, and seventh in her three previous trips to the Class 3A state girls golf championships.

A better golfer today than in her past, she is hoping to conclude her career at Columbia River High School with a state championship.

To do that, though, she will have to beat the defending champion, Sierra Bezdicek of Mt. Spokane.

In fact, there are four defending champions set to walk the fairways of courses throughout the region Tuesday and Wednesday.

The state championships for the Class 4A boys and girls and the Class 3A boys and girls tee off this morning in Camas, Ridgefield, Vancouver, and Woodland.

Bartek has to be considered one of the favorites. She is playing on the same course she obliterated two weeks ago at the district tournament, with a two-day total of 4-under par. She recorded seven birdies in her final round at Lewis River in Woodland.

That day, she said she was not worried about wasting any birdies at district, when she won by 19 strokes.

"I'm just going to get more birdies. I made birdies in my practice round, I got some more during district, and I'm going to make more during state," said Bartek, who opens the tournament in the first group of the day Tuesday, teeing off at 7:30 a.m.

Bezdicek, by the way, won her district title by 22 shots.

The Class 3A boys tournament will be held in Ridgefield at Tri-Mountain Golf Course. Frank Garber of Juanita is the defending state champion. He won by nine strokes last year, posting the best two-day score in tournament history, according to the Seattle Times.

Mountain View's Taylor Smith finished fourth last year and is in the field this year. He tees off at 8:42 a.m. Trent Standard of Fort Vancouver was the top local qualifier for this year's tournament, winning the 3A district title back in the fall. He did not place at state last year. He tees off at 8:33 a.m.

There are no local returners who finished in the top 10 at the Class 4A state tournaments last year.

The 4A boys will be at Camas Meadows, led by defending champion Kyle Cornett of Jackson.

Ian Spicer of Union is the top local qualifier. He won the 4A district title in the fall. He played state last year but did not place. Spicer is in the first group of the day, teeing off at 7:30 a.m. along with Li Wang of Eastlake, who finished second last year.

The 4A girls will be at Club Green Meadows in Vancouver. That tournament is hoping for another exciting finish. Last year, Alivia Brown of Bellarmine Prep defeated her teammate Jordan Ferreira and Katie Lee of Central Kitsap in a three-way playoff. Brown and Lee are in the field this year.

Belex Cheng of Union is the top local qualifier. She won the district title two weeks ago. Cheng did not place last year but finished 13th as a sophomore. Cheng tees off at 9:30 a.m.

There are 80 golfers in each tournament. The top 40, plus ties, make the cut for Wednesday's final round.

The tournaments also will determine team champions based on a points system for individual placings.

Kamiak won the 4A team title in 2012. Bellarmine Prep took the girls 4A title. In 3A, Southridge won the boys championship and Hanford took the girls trophy.