FRUIT HEIGHTS -- For as long as there has been a Utah high school state championship -- three years, now -- the Ogden Tigers have taken home the top prize in whichever classification they've played, and Wednesday afternoon was no different.
Paced by seniors Courtney Smith, Mary Bischoff, Myken Jensen and sophomore Kortney Wilde, the Tigers easily walked away with the state 4-A championship at Davis Park Golf Course. Their previous two championships came at the 3-A level.
"This year we moved up into the 4-A ranks, and I always wondered how we compared to the larger schools," said Ogden coach Pat Price. "The girls stepped up and played their game today. Myken (Jensen) had a really good day and shot one of her better scores of the year. She's always had the potential and today she put it all together and played a great round."
Smith led Ogden with a 78, marking the third consecutive year that she finished second in the state tournament. A tough hole on 17 was all that stood between her and the elusive medalist honors. "I started slow, but got better on the back nine," Smith said. "I really got in trouble when I doubled No. 17, but it was a great team effort. We (seniors) really wanted to win our third straight."
Jensen was fourth overall with an 81. "Mary (Bischoff) and Courtney (Smith) were both members of the other two championship teams, but Myken was always good enough to make the team, but we could only take four girls, so it was nice for her to finally be part of the state championship team," Price said.
Bischoff was Ogden's third-leading scorer with a 92, good enough for 15th place overall, and Wilde shot a 105.
Price, who is calling it quits after 23 years at the helm of golf at Ogden High, felt confident about this year's championship team. "I really have enjoyed the last 23 years. We pushed hard for a lot of years to get girls golf sanctioned (by the UHSAA).
"Through the years we had a few girls that could compete on the boys level, and it finally paid off. Nothing is ever certain, but we felt confident about this year's team. There were times that they struggled, but they always seemed to perform when they needed to, and today they did."
Ogden's 232 (using the Stableford scoring system) easily outdistanced Sky View and Spanish Fork, which tied for second with a 209. Bonneville, which finished second in the inaugural state 4-A/5-A tournament in 2008, and third in 4-A in 2009, finished the day in fourth place just three points behind Sky View and Spanish Fork.
Dixie's Nicole Thomas captured medalist honors with a 76, two strokes ahead of Smith and Monica Yeates of Timpanogos. Bonneville's Lea Garner (81) finished in a five-way tie for fourth, along with Jensen and Box Elder's Kristie Jensen.
* JAYHAWKS REPEAT AS STATE CHAMPOIONS: At Tooele, the St. Joseph girls golf squad was relentless in winning its second title in as many years.
Led by medalist Lexy Smith, the Jayhawks place three golfers in the top four to dominate the title at Oquirrh Hills Golf Course.
Smith, a senior, recorded a 72 in the stableford format, followed by South Summit's Shelby VanCott (67), and St. Joseph teammates Ciera Archuleta (65) and Taylor Jensen (59). Shannon Trout added a 36.
Christian Heritage also posted a top-five team performance, led by Emilie Volk (57) and Bailey Arnold (56), who were fifth and sixth, overall.
Layton Christian was led by Jessie Yasenko with a 38.
* JAYHAWK BOYS FINISH THIRD: At Tooele, the St. Joseph boys golf team made a big improvement in Wednesday's second round of action at Oquirrh Hills Golf Course, but it wasn't enough to catch Milford and Intermountain Christian for the title.
The Jayhawks finished third overall. Rob Puskedra posted his second top-10 finish in as many years, with a seventh-place 172. Teammate John Voinovich was 10th at 183.