Districts already here in golf

By Beau Eastes / The Bulletin / @beastes

Published Apr 29, 2013 at 05:00AM

The spring sports season is about to get a little shorter.

Just six weeks after their first tournament of the year, boys and girls golf teams from Bend, Mountain View, Summit and Redmond high schools are preparing for their district championships this Thursday and Friday at Eagle Point Golf Course in Eagle Point.

The spring athletic schedule has always been fairly compact, but the 2013 golf season is even more brief for the aforementioned area programs because of availability issues with the Southern Oregon course. Instead of having six days off between district and state competition — and one last tuneup tournament the weekend before district play — Central Oregon teams that qualify for the Class 5A state tourney will have nine days of rest after the 5A Special District 1 tournament — for better or worse.

Of course, the early district tourney may have little effect on local teams, who last year produced one team champion (Summit girls), an individual winner (the Storm’s Madison Odiorne) and three state runners-up (Summit boys in 5A, Bend girls in 5A and Crook County girls in 4A/3A/2A/1A).

This Summit girls squad could actually be better than last year’s team that won state by 28 strokes with Odiorne, Sarah Heinly and Maddy Mansberger all capable of shooting around par. And Bend High senior Heidi Froelich hopes to lead the Lava Bears back to the podium at state a year after they took second to the Storm at districts and the 5A state tourney.

While the Summit girls are heavy favorites this week at districts, the boys tournament should be more competitive. The Storm are the team to beat, but Bend High and Redmond both are strong enough to compete for the district title if Summit has a couple of off-days. Individually, Panther senior Mason Rodby heads into the district tournament playing some of the best golf of his career, having either won outright or shared medalist honors at three events last week.

The rest of the state, including Central Oregon’s smaller schools, start the postseason next Monday and Tuesday, for the most part. The Crook County boys host the Greater Oregon League championships at Meadow Lakes Golf Course, and the Trinity Lutheran, Sisters, Ridgeview, Crook County and La Pine girls teams all stay near home at Brasada Ranch for the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 5 district tourney, which the Saints of Bend host. (The La Pine boys also host their district championship, the Sky-Em League tourney, not at their home course of Quail Run Golf Course but at Tokatee Golf Club in McKenzie Bridge.)

The boys and girls state tournaments are scheduled to start two weeks from today on May 13. The 5A boys tournament will be at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, while the 4A boys play at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell. Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks, which is approximately 25 miles northwest of Portland, hosts the 5A girls tourney, and Central Oregon’s own Eagle Crest Resort Ridge Course is the site of the 4A/3A/2A/1A girls championship.

Looking back

Athlete of the week: Redmond sprinter Kiersten Ochsner reset two of her own school records Saturday. The Panther junior won the 100-meter dash in 12.44 seconds and the 200 in 26.50.

Contest of the week: Summit’s girls tennis team went 4-0 on Friday and Saturday to win the Class 5A Dual Championship in Sunriver. The Storm topped Sherwood, a 5A title contender, 5-3 in the championship final.

Looking ahead

Thursday

Gladstone at Madras softball, 4:30 p.m.: The White Buffaloes, who are tied for third in the Tri-Valley Conference standings, look to get back on track and secure one of the league’s three play-in berths. Gladstone leads the TVC standings, but their only conference loss this year came against Madras.

Thursday and Friday

Boys and girls Class 5A Special District 1 golf championships in Eagle Point: Summit, Bend, Mountain View and Redmond high schools send their boys and girls golf teams to Southern Oregon for district play with Eagle Point and Ashland. Only the top two teams from each tournament advance to the state tourneys on May 15 and 16.