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Freshman Francesca Tomp of North Eugene wins Oregon 5A girls golf state championship; Wilsonville claims team title

“It’s beyond what I expected, to be honest. ... Winning was my goal, yes, but I kind of didn’t have expectations of it.”
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By Dan Brood | Photos by Dan Brood 

Youth was served.

Youth was impressive.

Youth reigned supreme.

Francesca Tomp, a 14-year-old North Eugene High School freshman, claimed the individual championship at the Class 5A girls golf state tournament, held Monday and Tuesday at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell. 

“It means a lot, considering I’m a freshman and I just won state,” Tomp said before receiving her championship medal. “It’s beyond what I expected, to be honest. I expected to come in second or third. Winning was my goal, yes, but I kind of didn’t have expectations of it.”

Francesca Tomp North Eugene girls golf Dan Brood 2

Tomp triumphed with a two-round score of 7-over-par 151 strokes, giving her a three-shot edge over second-place Mercedes Marriott of Crescent Valley.

Meanwhile, Wilsonville flexed its muscles in winning its second team championship, and its first since 2017. The Wildcats had a two-round team score of 766, giving them a commanding advantage over second-place Silverton, which had a score of 797.

The victory also proved to be quite a step up for Wilsonville, looking at what the team had, numbers-wise, just a year ago.

“Last year, we only had three girls,” Wilsonville senior Emma Dougherty said. “So, it’s crazy going from not being able to compete to being champions. It’s great. We’ve had a lot of fun over the season, and we have a great group of girls.”

“With COVID and everything, we haven’t had a season for two years, so it’s been nice to be with a team that works hard and gets the job done, and we got it done,” Wilsonville junior Mia Combs said.

Tomp, playing in her first high school state championships, got off to a dazzling start to the event, shooting an even-par 72 in Monday’s first round, giving her a six-shot lead entering Tuesday’s final round.

She carded three birdies on the front nine Monday, her back nine, as she started the round on hole No. 10.

“Yesterday was definitely a lot better than today,” Tomp said. “Today was just a bit rough.”

In Tuesday’s second round, she had one birdie and four bogeys in her front nine, when she shot a 39.

On hole No. 14, Tomp took a triple-bogey seven, and then had a bogey on the next hole.

But she responded in a big way — a really big way.

On the 93-yard No. 17, Tomp put her tee shot in a good position on the green, and then sank a much-needed 20-foot birdie putt.

“That was important. It was very important,” Tomp said. “I’m going to admit that I was upset, and having that birdie just lifted me, and helped me continue.”

Francesca Tomp North Eugene girls golf Dan Brood

Still, after walking off the 18th green, Tomp wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.

“I wasn’t sure that score was going to be good enough to win,” she said.

As it turned out, it was.

“I just stayed calm,” Tomp said of the key to victory. “Today was a rough day, but I kept my emotions in check as much as possible.”

That might be true, but Tomp’s calm demeanor was replaced by a smile as she was accepting championship congratulations as she stood near the scoring tent.

“Playing out here, at my home course, was great. And the conditions were awesome,” Tomp said. “I’ve been playing for a while, and my coach, Laine (Wortman), really helped me out. This was really fun, and I’m really happy to be here.”

Marriott, a junior, finished in second place with a 10-over, two-round score of 154. She had the top mark in Tuesday’s second round with a score of 75.

Wilsonville senior Paris Wilhelm finished in third place in the individual standings with a two-round total of 168, as she helped lead Wilsonville to the title.

“This is huge,” Wilhelm said of the championship. “I think for all of us, this is our first state championship, and we’re really excited to be here.”

Wilhelm got off to a strong start to the tournament, carding a six-over-par 78 on Monday, which put her behind only Tomp in the individual standings at that point. She carded a 90 on Tuesday, but her Wildcats teammates seemed to pick things up — no surprise to Wilhelm.

“It was all the work we put in over the season,” Wilhelm said of the key to victory. “We were consistent, worked hard every week as a team.”

Dougherty had a two-round score of 194, which included a 95 on Tuesday, putting her in a tie for ninth place in the final individual standings.

Also for the Wildcats, Combs had a 196, putting her in a tie for 11th, freshman Madeline Downie shot a 208, and freshman Malia Kaleikilo had a 251.

“This is a great team,” Dougherty said. “We’re like family. We have a lot of fun. We goof off, but we get the job done at the same time.” 

Wilsonville from left to right: Malia Kaleikilo, Paris Wilhelm, Emma Dougherty, Madeline Downie and Mia Combs 

Wilsonville from left to right: Malia Kaleikilo, Paris Wilhelm, Emma Dougherty, Madeline Downie and Mia Combs 

“We all worked hard to improve, and we were striving for this,” Combs said.

“I’m a freshman, and it’s the first time for me being on a golf team. So, being on varsity is super big, and it’s really big winning state, and it hasn’t really hit me how big of a deal it is,” Kaleikilo said.

“It’s super cool being a part of this. This is a super fun team, but we know how to keep it serious. We’ve had fun the whole season.”

Silverton finished in second place in the team standings with a score of 797, putting the Foxes six shots ahead of third-place La Salle Prep, which carded an 803.

Sophomore Ellie Traeger led the way for Silverton with a two-round score of 189, which put her in a tie for fifth place in the individual standings. Senior Anfisa Samoilov shot a 190 for the Foxes, putting her in eighth place.

Redmond junior Elizabeth Richardson finished in fourth place with a score of 173. Ridgeview senior Kristin Nelzen and La Salle Prep sophomore Sydney Anderson tied Traeger for fifth place, each shooting a 189.

Corvallis finished in fourth place in the team standings with a total of 832, putting the Spartans one shot ahead of fifth-place Crook County.