Golf: Woodburn boys bound for state
The Woodburn boys golf team may be young, but that doesn't mean they aren't poised.
With their backs against the wall at the Special District 1 Regional Tournament at Quail Valley Golf Course on May 2, the Bulldogs pulled out some of their biggest performances of the season on the second day of competition.
Woodburn rallied back from finishing eighth-place on the first day to by shaving 24 strokes off their score on the second day to finish fifth and earn the final qualifying spot to the 5A State Championships next week.
"We just played the same way we've been playing all year," sophomore Maverick Cheremnov said. "This team – everyone's been showing up to practice the last year."
Cheremnov wasn't the only Woodburn athlete to chalk up their unexpected trip to the state championship tournament to the countless hours the team has spent practicing together at the OGA course in Woodburn this year.
"I think this is the first year we actually had an off season to focus on golf, and the results have shown," fellow junior Jose Ochoa said.
Woodburn entered the regional tournament with an outside shot of qualifying for the state tournament after finishing fourth in the Mid-Willamette Conference behind Crescent Valley, Corvallis and Silverton. But after the first day of competition at Quail Valley, the Bulldogs looked as if they could make a potential run at one of the top five qualifying positions.
Woodburn's first-day score of 371 put the team at eighth overall in the standings, but the team was just five strokes behind fifth-place St. Helens with plenty of room for improvement.
For junior Chris Krivoshein, he got most of his improvement on just one hole — the par-three sixth where he shot an 11 on the first day.
"I put it in the water three times," Krivoshein said.
On the second time around, Krivoshein was able to hit for par on the hole, one of four in which he parred on the front nine. The back nine was even better for the junior. He birdied the 10th hole, and though he picked up his only double bogey on the 11th, he followed by hitting par on five of his next six holes.
Krivoshein went into the 18th needing par to finish with a score in the 70s, but missed on his final put and wrapped up his day with a team-best 80.
"I really wanted the 79, but I'll take an 80 and going for state," he said.
Krivoshein wasn't the only one who saw improvement on the second day. Freshman Cole Beyer scored an 84 in his second round, finishing the tournament as Woodburn's top golfer with a combined score of 172 (88, 84) to place 15th. Krivoshein finished just behind at 173 for 16th place.
The pair were followed by freshman Jordan Blem, who shaved five strokes off his score on the second day to finish with a 187 (96, 91) for 28th place.
"We had no pressure, so I was out there having fun," Blem said.
Junior Jose Ochoa, who knows a thing or two about playing under pressure after helping to deliver a state title for the boys soccer team in the fall, took nine strokes off his score on the second day to finish 36th with a score of 193 (101, 92).
The only one who didn't improve was Cheremnov, who put up his two worst scores of the season — 94 and 95 — to finish 31st with a 189. The Woodburn sophomore routinely hits in the mid-80s to low-90s is eager to make up for the tough scores at the 5A State Championship, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell.
"I had a bad day, but my teammates stepped up and helped us go to state," Cheremnov said. "It's my turn for state."
Special District 1 Regional Championship
May 1-2 at Quail Valley Golf Course
1. Crescent Valley — 625 (315, 310)
2. Silverton — 670 (343, 327)
3. Corvallis — 688 (340, 348)
4. Wilsonville — 711 (354, 357)
5. Woodburn — 718 (371, 347)
Woodburn Individual Results
15. Cole Beyer — 172 (88, 84)
16. Chris Krivoshein — 173 (93, 80)
28. Jordan Blem — 187 (96, 91)
31. Mavrik Cheremnov — 189 (94, 95)
36. Jose Ochoa — 193 (101, 92)