The Cougars shot a match-low, 315, on Tuesday and Wednesday for a team score of 630 and earned the right to defend their state title in Las Vegas next week. Bishop Manogue overcame a three-stroke deficit to McQueen after the first round to narrowly earn a state berth, 673-679, 43 strokes behind Spanish Springs.
“I feel really happy for the girls,” Spanish Springs coach Mike Bosco said. “We won a league title and now a regional title. That was two of our three goals. We really thought we had a team that could win all three, league, regional and state.”
The Cougars were led by Katrina Prendergast, who locked down her third North Region individual title in as many years. The junior was left speechless after shooting a 72 Tuesday and a 73 Wednesday to finish atop the standings: again.
“I don’t know what to say,” Prendergast said. “It’s pretty cool. Freshman year (first individual title) was awesome but three years in a row is even better.”
Her coach was anything but speechless.
“I believe she is the best golfer in the North,” Bosco said of Prendergast. “That’s just the bottom line.”
Prendergast was chased by Douglas’ Koko Terada, who shot a 71 Wednesday to finish nine strokes behind the champ. Prendergast’s teammate, Trae Jones, (154) finished her final regional tournament tied for second with Terada after shooting a 79 Tuesday and a 75 Wednesday.
“I think those are the two best rounds she’s had since I’ve coached her (two years),” Bosco said.
Sam Sorensen finished in eighth place with a 162. Katrina Weil turned in a two-day collective score of 170, finishing in 11th place, after becoming a late add to the regional roster. Jada McCallister turned in a 177 and Emma Gilmore shot a 179 to round out the Cougars’ scores.
The Cougars opened up a 29-stroke lead over McQueen, who Bishop Manogue surpassed Wednesday, after the first day of the tournament but it wasn’t enough for Bosco to relax. Spanish Springs held a 12-stroke lead in last year’s regional tournament only to watch McQueen grab the title on the final day.
“I was not comfortable I have to be honest,” Bosco said. “(Last year) I think I was a little too overconfident. I tried to hold my feelings back… I didn’t really feel good until we posted two or three scores and then I started feeling ‘OK, we’re in good shape.’”
The regional champs now shift their focus to the state tournament next Wednesday and Thursday in Las Vegas at Bear’s Best. With hopes of securing a state berth, the Cougars played two practice rounds at the course a couple weeks ago and posted a 323. Spanish Springs squared off with Bishop Gormin in the practice rounds and Bosco said his girls, “beat them pretty badly.”
“The girls feel they deserve a state championship and I really do too,” Bosco said. “I think we’re the best girls team in the state at this division and we get the chance to defend our crown.”
•The young Reed team finished its season with a collective score of 847 after shooting a 432 Tuesday and a much-improved 415 Wednesday.
“I was really happy with the way the girls played today,” Reed coach Danielle Fleiner said. “They did a great job and the scores were down where they should be. It was a huge improvement from day one.”
Angela Vranken led the Raiders Wednesday with a monster turnaround, shooting a 91, a personal record, after turning in a 104 Tuesday. Vranken nearly missed a hole-in-one Wednesday on the par three, 14th hole, and was left with a six-inch tap-in birdie putt.
Reed’s only senior, Leighton Lee, shot a 97 in the final round of her high-school career.
“I was really proud of Leighton, she had a great tournament,” Fleiner said. “She really kept her head. As a senior sometimes they start pressing, knowing it’s their last tournament… She kept her head on straight.”