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Once again, a host of Wildcats will compete against the best golfers in the state

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - Wilsonvilles top golfer Karra Kaiser shot 197 over two days at the district tournament. Wilsonville's girls golf team broke on through to the other side.

After a strong showing at the district meet, Wilsonville will be one of the 17 teams to have qualified for the state match. The team has constant improvement to thank for the victory, according to girls golf coach Mike Nichols.

"They are all playing their best golf of the season right now," Nichols said. "Sabyn Thoune and Karra Kaiser had scores in the 90s at regionals, their best of the season and their career."

Led by those two, the team played strong against St. Helens and the Intermountain Conference golf teams at the regional meet. The team beat St. Helens by 16 strokes the first day, and 29 strokes on Day Two. The team showed focus in its win and was able to dominate in its pursuit of the league title, though ultimately finishing fourth with a total score of 830.

"I had not seen our team that focused, confident and energized all season," Nichols said. "They truly seemed to meet the challenge head on and conquer it."

Kaiser and Thoune finished seventh and ninth overall, and while it may not have been the perfect match played, Thoune and Kaiser are still looking forward to putting their skills to the test at the state meet.

"I am very happy (to have made it to state)," Thoune said. "I feel like my team and I have put in a lot of work this year, so that's really nice."

At the state meet, Wilsonville will have its work cut out for it. In its path for a state title are top performers Crater, Pendleton and West Albany, teams Nichols knows present a great challenge.

"Those three teams ... are exceptional at the 5A level," Nichols said. "If we play well and get a few breaks here and there we might be able to sneak into the top four and get a trophy."

Kaiser and Thoune will be joined at the state meet by senior Ali Nelson, junior Penelope Mitchell and junior Emma Kaleikilo. This particular group of athletes are continuing a trend of state qualifiers many years in the making.

"We are so proud of our girls, they set a goal of a league championship, and made it eight straight years to state for Wilsonville High School," Nichols said. "This has been a great year. Our girls have grown in their golf game and more importantly in life."

Day One of the state meet will be Monday, May 13, after the Spokesman goes to press.