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Led by Merritt O'Gorman, the Cowgirls will compete for a state championship at Emerald Valley Golf Course next week.

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - The Crook County girls golf team includes, from left to right, junior McKenzie Jonas, sophomore Haylee Noland, freshman Sawyer McDonald, sophomore Merritt O'Gorman and sophomore Aspen Gunderson.

The OSAA Class 5A Girls State Golf Championships are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, May 16-17, at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell.

As Intermountain Conference champions, the Crook County Cowgirls will have one of the youngest teams at the tournament. As the IMC individual champion, sophomore Merritt O'Gorman is expected to lead the Cowgirls. Joining her at state will be sophomore Haylee Noland, freshman Sawyer McDonald, junior McKenzie Jonas and sophomore Aspen Gunderson.

In addition to Crook County, other teams to qualify for the state tournament include: Midwestern League champion Crater and runner-up North Bend; Mid-Willamette champion Silverton, as well as second-place Corvallis and third-place Crescent Valley; and Northwest Oregon champion Wilsonville, as well as Scappoose and La Salle Prep, who both survived the Special District 1 regional tournament.

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - Crook County sophomore Merritt O'Gorman will likely be the leader in the clubhouse for the Cowgirls as they compete in the 5A state championships next week in Creswell.With no state championship in either 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19, there will be very few players at this year's state championship with previous OSAA state tournament experience. That makes predicting this year's event somewhat difficult and leaves no clear favorite.

However, a couple of teams have stood out this spring. Silverton looks like the early favorite to win the state title, with Corvallis and Crescent Valley close behind. Wilsonville, Crook County and Crater could also be factors.

Individually, Marriott Mercedes of Crescent Valley and Francesca Tomp of North Eugene are the favorites to win medalist honors, although many could take part in the battle to make the top 10, including: Kamryn Craig of North Bend, Anfisa Samoilov and Ellie Traeger of Silverton, Julia Weldon of Corvallis, Crook County's Merritt O'Gorman, Paris Wilhelm and Mia Combs of Wilsonville, Redmond's Elizabeth Richardson and Ridgeview's Kristin Nelzen.

The Cowgirls are paired with North Bend and Corvallis for Day 1 of the state tournament, with O'Gorman, Craig and Weldon teeing off on the 10th hole at 7:30 a.m., and the four remaining golfers teeing off at nine-minute intervals following O'Gorman.


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