Bartek reigns in 3A state golf

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter



WOODLAND — Call Chloe Bartek a reigning champion.

The Columbia River senior capped her high school golf career Wednesday with a round as steady as the rain that turned Lewis River Golf Course soggy, shooting an even-par 73 and winning the Class 3A state championship by seven strokes.

"I don't think it's really sunk in," Bartek said moments after finishing her final high school round. "It probably will tomorrow when I see all my friends. When I'm not dripping it might soak in."

Bartek's two-day score of 143 beat defending champion Sierra Bezdicek of Mount Spokane by seven strokes and was 14 strokes clear of third place.

Hanford easily won its second consecutive team title, and Mount Spokane was second. Mountain View finished fifth, one spot out of a trophy.

After shooting a 3-under 70 on Tuesday, Bartek had a one-stroke lead over Bezdicek. The two leaders were paired together, but Bartek said she stayed focused on her own game.

"I was just trying to make par," Bartek said. "In this weather, in these conditions, I was thinking: 'You shoot for par. If you get a birdie, good job."

Bartek birdied the par-5 fifth hole and the par-4 ninth, building a seven-stroke lead with nine to play as Bezdicek shot 4-over 39 on the front nine.

Bartek found the trees twice on 10 and double-bogeyed, but quickly got back on track by just missing a birdie at 11 and sinking a short birdie putt on 12 after leaving her eagle try short.

"A 73 today is like shooting under par," Bartek said. "It was awful. The rain didn't stop once. It rained the entire time, and even harder on the back at some points."

The conditions not only made the round physically taxing, but added a mental challenge.

"I had to hit longer clubs," Bartek said. "I had to be aware that I had to hit longer clubs, and I learned that as I went through the front nine, especially."

With constant rain and temperatures in the mid 40s to low 50s, Bartek said Wednesday's weather was about the worst she could remember golfing in.

"I try not to play in conditions this bad," she said with a smile. "It was really a grind to make sure I stayed focus and kept going."

Her focus was rewarded with the ultimate conclusion to a high school career. Bartek finished seventh at the state tournament last season, five strokes behind Bezdicek. She placed 17th at state as a sophomore and 15th as a freshman.

"On the 18th hole I thought about (the championship)," Bartek said. "I was thinking, 'Just hit some good shots here and you're good.' "

Prairie's Jamie Stilwell (176) tied for 13th, and Fort Vancouver's Bridget Standard (181) tied for 19th. Each said playing together made Wednesday enjoyable despite the miserable conditions.

"I love playing with Bridget, so that was nice. A lot of smiles," Stilwell.

Mountain View senior Clarissa Witherup shot 93 on Wednesday to finish at 177, tied for 15th. She said her 84 on Tuesday made the tournament for her.

"My first day I was staying in the moment, staying in the zone. It was kind of like an out-of-body experience for me. I was really excited," Witherup said. "Today, I struggled. I could have done a lot better, but I also could have done a lot worse, so I will take what I got today."

Mountain View had six golfers qualify for state and three make Wednesday's round. Rachel Kim finished 26th with a 36-hole total of 187; Abby Kadrmas finished 40th at 202.