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State of Washington, be forewarned - the landscape of WIAA girls golf is about to be tilted sideways.

Bellevue High School has arguably the most-talented team in the state this spring, regardless of classification. A year after finishing as the Class 3A runner-up, the Wolverines are favorites next week at the Hawks Prairie Golf Course (Woodlands) in Lacey.

"I am leaving girls who shoot in the 70s at home (for state)," 16th-year Bellevue girls golf coach Tori Marcum said. "That is a tough, unique problem to have."

Does that qualify the Wolverines as one of the all-time greats? Not likely.

But what is coming to the program next season - nationally-ranked standouts Angela Zhang and Nicole Tang, now eighth graders - gives them the makings of a super team.

First, this year's squad:

* Junior Berenice Stolte is the anchor. She captured the Class 3A individual title last spring, closing with a final-round 7-under-par 65 to win by one stroke over Southridge's Jillian Hui at Meadowwod Golf Course in Liberty Lake.

She is the team's biggest hitter, and as Marcum points out, "she brings our team together."

* Also a junior, Lauren Lee tied for 17th at the WIAA championships a year ago. She is the younger sister of Gonzaga University golfer Grace Lee, who graduated from high school in 2022.

"She's a replica of her sister - a steady Eddie," Marcum said. "She is super consistent."

* Tatum Otto is the leader of the incoming wave of young talent to come to the program this season. The ninth grader won a Rocky Mountain Junior Tour event at The Home Course last fall by 18 strokes - and recently qualified for Junior Worlds.

"She's up-and-coming, and a very focused, determined golfer," Marcum said.

* Then there's transfer Mia Herendeen, a sophomore who qualified for the 2017 "Drive, Chip and Putt" finals at Augusta National Golf Club during Masters week.

Herendeen, the younger sister of Illinois signee Max Herendeen (one of top junior golfers in country), was at Bishop Blanchet last season, tying for 23rd in the Class 3A championships.

"She is easy going, and her game is flawless," Marcum said.

* Charlene Stolte, the younger sister of Berenice, is another up-and-coming ninth grader who has qualified for the team's state lineup for next week's WIAA tournament.

And don't forget about Madison Tucker, the lone senior who qualified as an individual. She is also a standout basketball player.

Marcum said four different girls have won medalist honors during tournaments this spring.

"We hope to bring home the (WIAA championship) banner," she said.

And then really put the state on notice with Zhang and Tang, both top recruits nationally in the class of 2027.

Zhang is the generational talent who might go down as one of the best players to ever come out of Washington, boy or girl.

In her latest eye-popping showing this week on the national stage, Zhang and fellow 14-year-old partner Alice Zhao, of Irvine, Calif., reached the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at The Home Course, earning co-medalist honors in stroke play.

This comes on the heels of qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open this summer at Pebble Beach Golf Links. 

At age 9, Zhang won her age group (7-9) at the Drive, Chip and Putt finals in Augusta. She's captured three AJGA tournament titles. And last summer at age 13, she became the youngest championship of the Washington State Women's Amateur at Moses Lake Golf Course.

Needless to say, she's developed a little bit of a fan club around the Northwest golf scene.

"Noticed that a little bit, yeah," said Zhang, smiling, after her final stroke-play U.S. Four-Ball round Sunday in Dupont.

As an online-school student in the Bellevue School District, Zhang is eligible to play golf with the Wolverines girls team next spring - something she said he wants to do, especially since her brother, Eric, plays for the boys' squad.

"Obviously you do that in college golf, but to have that experience in high school and be able to play with my friends and play for a team is something I've wanted to experience," Zhang said.

Added Eric, her brother: "Everyone kind of knows about Angela. They are looking forward to her joining ... and they are pretty stacked right now."

Marcum isn't mincing her expectations for 2024: "Best golf team I will ever coach - and one of the best teams in the nation."

And adding somebody of the caliber of Zhang?

"A couple of the girls have played with her and say she is really nice. They are excited that she is excited to play with Bellevue golf," Marcum said.

"They are intimidated as well. Some of them understand that they might be going to state this year, but maybe not next year."

(Featured photo by Kathryn Riley/United States Golf Association)