Girl golfers improve

Two weeks into their season and the play of the Oak Harbor girls golf team continues to strengthen as each match passes.

On Wednesday afternoon the Cats finished third out of the four teams in their WesCo North A division 9-hole contest, scoring 65 Stableford points. They finished behind winner Stanwood, who had 80 and Mount Vernon, who had 79 and ahead of Arlington, who finished with 62 points. Although they didn’t win, the Cats have shown significant improvement since their first matches of the season.

“A couple of weeks time and we’re going to be right in there with those other teams,” head coach Andy Wesley said. “I’m really excited about it.”

Junior Camille Merritt finished third overall Wednesday, racking up a total of 22 points. She came in only four points behind medal winner Rishele Titus of Stanwood and two behind Sara VanNortwick of Mount Vernon. Other top finishers for Oak Harbor were Melissa Ortolani, who scored 13 points and Lauren Acton, who had 12.

Another Cat who put forth a solid effort was Erika Hill, who only in her second year of playing golf, scored a career high nine points.

Wesley feels the depth of this year’s team is one of its assets. Instead of having one or two strong players who contribute all the points, every one of the varsity golfers is helping the team achieve success.

“The three, four and fives are getting a lot of points for us this year,” he said.

The junior varsity also performed well on Wednesday as they took first in a three-way match with Kamiak and South Whidbey at Holmes Harbor Golf Course. The Cats won with 49 points over their opponents, who both finished with 40. Krystal Cooley led Oak Harbor with 16 points on the par three course.

The varsity girls will get another shot at the same teams they just played, when they compete at a WesCo North A division match at 3 p.m., Wednesday, April 2 at Eaglemont in Mount Vernon. They will have two more such matches later in the season at the home courses of Stanwood and Arlington.

“Our team needs to focus a little harder and we’ll be just fine,” Wesley said. “I’m not worried, but I am confident that we will give the other teams a run for their money.”

The next home match won’t be until April 28 when Oak Harbor plays Lake Stevens at Whidbey Golf and Country Club.

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