Spanish Springs followed up Monday’s 315 team score with a 323 Tuesday to post a two-day total of 638. That was 16 strokes better than second-place McQueen’s 654 (325-329).
“I’m extremely happy,” Spanish Springs coach Victor Sherbondy said. “We came into the season and identified the fact that we were very young. and we’d lost a ton of talent. I don’t think anybody thought we could’ve reloaded so quickly. I knew we’d be better than people thought, but to think we’d be regional champions, I didn’t really think about that.”
Spanish Springs players overcame wet, cold conditions Monday and the pressure of Tuesday’s final round to put up its two lowest one-day totals of the fall season. The regional championship gives Spanish Springs a berth into next week’s 4A state tournament. The two-day event will be held Oct. 19-20 at Bear’s Best, a Jack Nicklaus-designed course in Las Vegas.
The Cougars’ effort was paced by the individual championship of freshman Katrina Prendergast. She was the leader after Monday’s first round with a 74 and she went lower Tuesday, carding a 73. Her two-day total of 147 topped the field and second-place finisher Carly Farthing of Manogue (78, 76-154).
“Her win is very impressive on several fronts. It’s just been a few weeks since she was sitting out with an injury,” Sherbondy said, alluding to the Cougars’ young star missing the first three High Desert League tournaments earlier this season. “And secondly, she’s just a freshman. That doesn’t happen very often. she put up a 74-73. Granted we were playing an easier course with short yardage, but those numbers are great. I don’t know if that two-day total has been matched. Most of the girls were three over on one hole at some point in the tournament, Katrina was three-over for the tournament.”
Not surprisingly, Prendergast was pretty happy with her performance.
“I didn’t really have any numbers in mind,” Prendergast said about setting individual goals for the regional tournament. “I just wanted to play the way I know how. I wanted to be relaxed and calm. I feel really accomplished. I did a lot to help the team. It feels really special.”
SSHS sophomore Trae Jones finished in a tie for third overall. Her scores of 76-81 totaled a 157. The rest of the Spanish Springs scoring contingent went as follows: Sammi Sorensen (76, 88-164), Devan Gaddis (89, 87-176), Joanna Perry (94, 83-177) and Stephanie King (91, 86-177). Competing teams used their lowest four scores each to comprise a team total.
There were plenty of personal bests among those numbers.
“Stephanie’s best round before had been 90. To go four strokes lower on championship day, with all that pressure, speaks of her character,” Sherbondy said. “Devan’s best before had been an 87 and she duplicated that today so that’s great. And I’ve been telling Joanna for many months that she has tons of potential. Once she figures it out and gets a little more experience, she’s going to be a very solid player for us.”
In addition to Spanish Springs, McQueen will also compete at next week’s state championships. The top five Northern 4A individual finishers, not from Spanish Springs or McQueen, will compete at state as well.
Those five are Farthing, Elise Levy of Manogue (78, 78-157), Koko Terada of Douglas (78, 80-158), Megan Justice of Carson (85, 75-160) and Kirsten Ortez of Galena (81, 80-161).
The Rail City’s other 4A high school, Reed, also competed in the regional event. Reed finished eighth in the team list with a two-day total of 749 (382, 367).
Carlee Payne (93, 82-175) was Reed’s top individual. Andi Lee (94, 93-187), Haley Kutz (99, 96-195), Abby Oliphant (96, 99-195), Amanda Vranken (103, 96-199), Maggie Saunders (101, 98-199) all competed for Reed.