Wallen, Andes move on to state tournament

Published on Wed, May 25, 2011 by Jerry Huls

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Blaine’s super sophomore made a resounding statement that he will be the favorite to win the 2A state golf championship after crushing his competition at the 2A Northwest district golf tournament at Snohomish Golf Course, Tuesday, May 17.

The leader after a par first round of 72, Wallen ran away and hid from his competition by shooting a blistering two under-par 70 to win the tournament by nine strokes.

Wallen’s dominant performance sends him back to the 2A state tournament May 24 and 25 at the Classic golf course in Spanaway, to attempt to do what he just missed doing last season – bring home a state championship. 

As a freshman, Wallen burst onto the scene by stunning prep golf fans with his first-round lead last season. He wound up finishing second last year.

This season, Wallen seems to be gaining momentum as the state tournament approaches. He has six victories and two second place finishes already, including the district championship.

Also qualifying for state was senior Michael Andes, who has been as consistent as Wallen on the course. Andes’ shot for medalist status at the Lake Padden event this season and teamed with Wallen to win the Lynden Christian Invitational tournament. Struggling on the first day, Andes made the cut with an 82 before rebounding with a strong round of 77 to send him to Spanaway.

“As a team, we did awesome at districts, this year,” Blaine head golf coach Steve Barthlow said.

Blaine finished third as a team in the district, seven shots back. Freshman Josh Miller made the cut with back-to-back rounds of 88.

“As a freshman, playing in both days of district is a great building block for the next three years,” Barthlow said.

Clint Richardson set two personal bests at district, making the cut on day one with an 87. Richardson just missed being the third Borderite to travel to state, firing an 80 and missing qualification by only three strokes.

Also nearly qualifying for state was freshman Devan Boucher, who shot 84-82 to missed out by two strokes.

“Again, as a freshman, this was an outstanding step in Devan’s development for the next three years,” Barthlow said.

Much like last season, Wallen seems to be peaking at just the right time as he enters the state tournament in Spanaway as the favorite instead of a dark horse.

“I would say that he [Wallen] would probably tell you he didn’t play his best on either day,” Barthlow said. “But to shoot two under par at a state tournament is awesome.

He seems to dig down deep inside and play his best when the competition is strong.”

Andes and Wallen join a huge contingent from the Northwest Conference, which swept 15 of the 18 available spots to state from the Cascade Conference.