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Sophomore Amanda Elich tops teammates for the individual title

by: JEFF GOODMAN - West Linn's Katie Fillion was the leader after the first day of districts and finished in a tie for second overall with teammate Sarah Archuleta only behind Amanda Elich. The West Linn girls golf team appear to be clicking on all cylinders following districts last week.

West Linn's cruised to the district title, firing a fantastic team score of 619 despite heavy rain throughout the two-day event at Arrowhead. That total was good enough to win by more than 100 strokes over second-place Clackamas.

“We played really well but I think we still have room for improvement in the sense that all five players haven't played their best at the same time yet,” coach Bob Turnquist said.

Sophomore Amanda Elich emerged as the district champion in what turned out to basically be an in-team competition.

Elich was calm and methodical throughout 36 holes and her consistency paid off with a two-day total of 150. She shot rounds of 75 each day and topped teammates Sarah Archuleta and Katie Fillion by four strokes.

“Amanda's been close all year and she's one of the most improved players on our team. She kind of snuck up on people because she wasn't in the last group. She was just very consistent and mentally tough for a sophomore,” Turnquist said.

Elich hadn't posted the lowest score on her team since the first league tournament of the season but she thrived in the adverse conditions.

The strength and depth of West Linn's team was on full display last week as the Lions posted five of the seven lowest scores of the tournament.

Fillion was the surprise story of the first day. She fired a 74 and led by one stroke after 18 holes. It was easily her best showing of the season so far and just the second time in league play that she cracked 80.

She nearly accomplished that feat again on the second day of districts, shooting an even 80 to finish in a tie for second.

Archuleta was in mix for another district title, firing a 75 on the opening day. She then shot a 79 on the second day as scoring conditions worsened and was the only player aside from Elich to post scores in the 79s both days.

Kristin Elich was next for the Lions with rounds of 80 and 81 and Chloe Barnes came in with a pair of 83s.

“This team is deeper than we've ever been. We've always had maybe three really good players. This year we have five and, honestly, we have eight. I'd love to be able to take two teams to state,” Turnquist said.

West Linn cruised to an easy victory, sweeping through league again this season. West Linn now gears up for a run at another state championship and will enter the tournament at Emerald Valley in Eugene as one of the favorites.

“Right now it's just about keeping the team relaxed. We do a lot of homework on every course and we'll be pretty business-like,” Turnquist said.

Individually, multiple Lions should also find themselves in the hunt for the state title as well.

The Lions' last state championship in girls golf came in 2011, also at Emerald Valley. West Linn recently played in the State Preview on the course which should set up well to accommodate the Lions' length off the tee.

“We'll have to play our best to win and if we do our job we'll have a chance,” Turnquist said.

Sheldon, St. Mary's, Jesuit and Lincoln should all be in the mix as well May 19-20.

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