By Ryan Divish
The Class A State Golf Tournament didn't go exactly as Havre High head golf coach Keith Evenson had planned. Of course, Evenson didn't exactly plan for his players to be putting through snow, either.
With temperatures dropping in Shelby on Friday, the Marias Golf and Country Club received a fresh dusting of snow during the tournament's first round. Action for the day eventually was suspended. However, that didn't happen as quickly as expected.
"The course was so white that when people putted the ball, snow would stick to the ball and it would get bigger as it rolled," Evenson said.
Besides the putting problems, players struggled with footing on swings, leading to some errant shots as well.
"They should have probably called it a little earlier," Evenson said.
Following the suspension of play on Friday, the coaches at the tournament voted on how the remainder of the tournament would be played. The decision was for the remainder of the first round to be finished on Saturday and the final round played on Sunday.
However, when the snow finally cleared and play resumed, Evenson's hope for a third straight boys championship melted along with the snow. The Dillon Beavers captured the boys division with a two-day total of 636. The Havre boys team finished fourth, 14 strokes off the pace with a 650.
On the girls side, the Billings Central Rams, led by Rachel Warren and Amanda Nielson's one-two finish, captured the girls crown with a score of 728. The Havre girls team finished seventh with a score of 811.
The boys team, which was picked to contend for the title, dug itself a hole in the snow that it couldn't crawl out of after shooting a first-round score of 330.
"We were put ourselves in a bad hole," Evenson said. "We were 20 strokes out after the first round."
Not that the golfers didn't try. Both the Havre boys and girls teams put together solid second rounds. The boys team fired a 320, which tied them with Sidney as the best round of the day. However, the three teams in front of Havre shot well enough to maintain their leads. The Pony girls fired a second- round 399, which was the first time they had broken 400 as a team.
Despite not bringing any hardware home as a team, a pair of Ponies earned all-state honors. Senior Jon Johnstone ended his high school career on a high note, placing eighth after shooting rounds of 81 and 77 for a total of 158. Amanda Brock played her best golf of the year at the state tournament. Brock fired a pair of 95s to finish tied for 10th.
Trent Normandy finished just out of the top 10 with a total of 161. Normandy struggled in the final round, shooting an 85 after starting out the tournament with a solid round of 76. Ben Erickson also finished with a 161 after shooting a career best 77 in his second round.
Ryan Hamilton had a solid showing at her first and only state tournament, shooting under 100 both days. Hamilton fired rounds of 94 and 99 for a 193 total.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect to Evenson was the compliments he received from Whitefish golf coach Terry Nelson and several other people at the tournament.
"He said that we had the most well-mannered kids who showed excellence sportsmanship," Evenson said. "To receive a compliment like that from somebody I really respect means a lot to me."
Havre boys results: 8. Jon Johnstone 81-77 158; Trent Normandy 76-85 161; Ben Erickson 84-77 161; Eric Ward 90-82 172; Chazz Hurlburt 89-84 173.
Havre girls results: 10. Amanda Brock 95-95 190; Ryan Hamilton 94-99 193; Heather Bowker 109-104 213; Mikyla Veis 117-101 218; Brittany Job 114-109 223.
Team scores Billings Central 360-368 728; Colstrip 384-352 736; Whitefish 363-373 736; Dillon 390-374 764; Miles City 396-386 782; Anaconda 403-407 810, Havre 412-399 811; Hamilton 405-426 831; Polson 426-421 847; Livingston 447-441 888; Glendive 457-436 893; Columbia Falls 484-wd wd.
Top Individuals: Rachel Warren, BC 74-79 153; Amanda Nielson, BC 78-77 155;Emily Maag, Colstrip 81-87 168; Margaux Alvarez, Stevensville 81-87 168; Maresa Jenson, Whitefish 85-83 168; Savanna Kroll, Colstrip 90-89 179; Jaylin Morasko, Glendive 94-85 179; Ashley Meine, Dillon 90-90 180; Megan LHommedieu, Whitefish 87-94 181; Brittany Hedge, Miles City 90-94 184; Robin Russell, Dillon 98-86 184;
Team scores Dillon 310-326 636; Billings Central 318-322 640; Whitefish 314-329 643; Havre 330-320 650; Sidney 336-320 656; Polson 322-348 670, Glendive 334-344 678, Miles City 343-352 695; Anaconda 345-351 696; Butte Central 364-357 721; Hamilton 350-379 729; Stevensville 366-366 732.
Top Individuals: Keil Duckworth, Polson 71-75 146; Jay Bond, Sidney 73-73 146; Tait Rocksund, Columbia Falls 74-75 149; Spencer Hughes, Whitefish 75-75 150; Jon Thomas, Dillon 78-75 153; Riley Tolstedt, Billings Central 79-76 155; Jeff Allen, Dillon 75-81 156; Jon Johnstone, Havre 81-77 158; Chris Golden, Belgrade 77-82 159; Mitch Wilbert, Billings Central 79-81 160; Matt Madison, Belgrade 82-78 160.