As the rain started to pour on the 18th hole at Hangman Valley Golf Course on Wednesday, Davenport’s Kaysa Panke was lining up for birdie.
She drained the shot to clinch her third consecutive State 1A/2B/1B title after shooting a 68 on Wednesday to finish with 137 over two days, a personal best. As a freshman, Panke took fourth place in the 2B/1B tournament.
“I was just so happy even though this is my last round of high school golf, just to birdie my last hole and to make that is a huge putt,” Panke said. “It was just so incredible, so happy.”
After every swing, the band of supporters following Panke around the 18 holes applauded. It was a performance that had other schools watching.
“I was so happy with my support group and everyone came out,” Panke said. “I just love having all the support around me. It was really nice to have them all come out.”
Davenport girls golf coach Taylor Warwick said Panke has always been an impressive golf player, gifted with a natural talent.
“Her work ethic and her natural ability,” Warwick said. “She puts in the work and she takes direction well. I don’t really have to worry about the swing, I am just out here to keep her head level.”
Panke is headed to Gonzaga University this fall after signing her letter of intent last November. First, she had some more hardware to win.
“I am excited for the next level and I just can’t wait to play for Gonzaga,” Panke said.
She won by 11 strokes, besting Taylor Entenman of La Center, who finished with a 148. South Whidbey’s Kolby Heggenes took third with a 150, a year after placing second behind Panke.
Gonzaga women’s golf assistant coach Victoria Fallgren was on hand to witness the win, even though it was her mother’s birthday. She wanted to see the future Zag in action.
The Bulldogs have kept an eye on Panke for a while now, seeing a girl with a lot of potential.
“She has a lot of length. She was a competitive skier forever, so we know she is going to be a great competitor. We know she is going to try her hardest every round,” Fallgren said. “She has a really good, calm demeanor on the golf course. We think she has a really high ceiling when she gets to Gonzaga.”
Warwick found out about Panke’s decision to play at Gonzaga three days before she signed hr letter of intent.
“(Panke’s) mom gave a hint, saying, ‘Go Bulldogs,’ which is really cool because now she gets to stay close to home and I even get to watch a college match of hers,” he said.
This was Panke’s second time playing at Hangman, her first coming when she was 12 during a WJA tournament.
“I was so happy, but also really sad that my high school golf career is over,” she said.
Gonzaga Prep built on its strong first round and coasted to its first state title in school history. The Bullpups scored 149.5 points at Canyon Lakes in Kennewick, beating second-place Tahoma HS, which had 78.50. Eastlake HS was third with 74.50 points and three-time defending state champ Bellarmine Prep took fourth with 71 points.
Dennis Dougherty was happy to bring the 4A title east, snatching it away from his alma mater, Bellarmine.
Nathan Plaster led the Bullpups, finishing with a 68 and 142 overall.
Tommy Kimmel was tied for seventh with a two-day total of 145.
Drew Warford of Mt. Si snared first place after shooting the lowest score of the day (67) for the second day in a row. He finished with a 137. CV’s Zach Stocker finished in a tie for 18th with G-Prep’s Jack Plaster at 152.
Bellarmine Prep (186) may have lost out on the boys title, but its girls cruised to the win, beating Camas (105) by 81 points at Sun Willows GC in Pasco.
The Lions were led by Montgomery Ferreira, who shot a 66 on Tuesday and bested that with a 65 on Wednesday for a 131. That was nine strokes better than teammate Julia Bordeaux, who finished second.
Mead’s Camryn Culp couldn’t build on her strong Tuesday, shooting a 79 to finish at 152, tied for 16th place.
Mountain View’s Graham Moody shot a 139, winning the individual boys title at Qualchan. Greater Spokane League Player of the Year Gunnar Knutson of Mt. Spokane rebounded to shoot a 71. He finished tied for 14th overall with a 149.
Central Kitsap’s Brittany Kwon won the girls title at Indian Canyon, shooting a 138.
Kenedee Peters of Ephrata won her third girls title after shooting a 148 at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland. It was eight points better than the second-place finisher.
Liberty’s (Issaquah) Chase McIntosh (139) pulled away from Selah’s Dylan Apodaca (143) to win the boys title at Columbia Point in Richland.
Bear Creek School’s John Hayes followed up Tuesday’s 69 with a 70 to win the individual title (139) at Liberty Lake Golf Course. Colville’s Griffen Reggear finished third with a 145. Newport’s Ben Krogh finished ninth with a 156 and Deer Park’s Ethan Shroyer tied for 10th with a 158.
Colfax won the team title with 46 points at Hangman, beating second-place Pomeroy, which had 30.5. Chance Weitze led Colfax, shooting an 80 to finish at 153, good for fourth. Teammate Augie Allenbach took fifth with a 158. Ilwaco’s Blake Kukula shot a 143 to win the individual award.