Sports -- May 11, 2006

Published on Thu, May 11, 2006
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SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Right or left-handed, women golfers undefeated

Borderite golfers continued dominating the league, both boys and girl’s teams maintaining undefeated league records season last Friday leading up to this week’s league finals at the 27-hole Avalon course in Sedro-Woolley, results of which were not available at press time.
The girls have been led all season by the duo of senior Tegan Bukowski and junior Karissa Bland. At North Bellingham’s long, flat course last week Bukowski scored 59 which along with Bland’s 52 meant that the top two golfers for Blaine outscored all the other teams in the match.
One of the reasons was apparent during practice last week as both girls consistently outdrove their adult male coaches by considerable distances. There are differences – Bland is a lefty, and calmly lets the club do the work with a swing that’s so picture perfect it should be in a book. She works quietly.

Bukowski is all chatter and body English, often giving a running commentary on her own game: “Wow! For some reason I’m hitting my drives 10 yards farther today,” she said at a recent match Blaine hosted at Semiahmoo, “but my putting ... yuk!”

She’s headed for the U.S. Air force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, shortly after graduating, already has the competitive instincts of a fighter pilot and ought to finish well in Spokane.
She hits the ball a little farther than Bland, and both girls have good short games, putting well plus having the discipline to make corrections when needed.

Under the Stableford scoring system, points are awarded (instead of counting strokes) to each player on each hole based on par: a birdie is 5 points, a par is 4, and so on down to a one-point triple bogey.
Teams count the top five scores of the six players they’re allowed in each round, and a winning score for an 18-hole match is usually somewhere around 120 to 130. Blaine’s girls, however, regularly double the score of their next closest opponent, making them one of the most dominating teams Blaine high school has ever had in any sport.
Team scores at the North Bellingham match were Blaine 215, Mt. Baker 111, Meridian 106, Nooksack 103. Individually, Bukowski ended up with 59 points, Bland with 52, junior and normally number five golfer Katie Richardson had 37, junior Hannah Hillard got 35, junior Mackenzie Nix got 32 and junior Ashley Peck got 18. Senior Nicole Bailey, who shoots just behind Bland and Bukowski, didn’t play.
“All seven of these girls have been great to work with, and they’re all really good at this,” said head coach Rob Bouma, a golfer himself who says his talent has already been eclipsed by most of the team. The high school science teacher will relinquish the reins next year as he and his family head for a 2-year teaching stint in Hong Kong.
Last year he coached four golfers to the state tournament with Bland and Bukowski making it past the cut to the second day. Bukowski ended up sixth in the state.

This year’s district play on May 16 and 17 will also be at Avalon, the same course where both boys and girls teams competed in the league finals this past week. After the first day’s play at district the top 20 players move on to the second day, and the top 10 finishers go to the state tournament at Spokane’s Downriver Country Club.

Blaine boy’s baseball
Blaine’s defending league champion baseball team was knocked out of the post-season play at the district level Tuesday by two extra-inning ball games, losing to Granite Falls Monday 3-2 in nine innings and then to Archbishop Murphy 7-6 in a 14-inning contest played in Mount Vernon on Tuesday.

Rob Bleeker’s extra-bases hit scored 3 in the ninth inning for a 5-2 lead, but an Archbishop Murphy single with the sacks full tied it up again at 5.

The same thing happened in the 11th inning with Blaine going up 6-5 only to see Archbishop Murphy tie it again. They won it in the bottom of the 14th inning as a walked batter scored on a ground ball.
Blaine ends this year 12-11.