ANACONDA- They're off and running, folks.
The Polson golf team was the first Lake County sports team to get into fall sports action and they didn't disappoint. Anna DiGiallonardo shot an 88 to tie for third place and help lead the Lady Pirates to a secondplace finish at the Anaconda Invitational on Tuesday, Aug. 15.
"The girls had a great tournament and I feel like we should be right there with Lewiston," Polson head coach Bill Owen said.
Polson finished 380 teams points, behind Park (Lewiston), which scored a 358. One very promising sign was how the Lady Pirates finished 27 strokes ahead of conference rival and powerhouse Whitefish, who scored 407.
"It's better than where they were last year," Owen said. "The girls are stepping it up."
Backing up DiGiallonardo was Jaylin Kenney, who posted a 96 to take ninth and Sequoia Bagrow scored a 97 to tie for 10th. Makala Wilson shot a 99 and Kat Medland had a 105 to round out the scoring. Along with Park, Polson was the only other team in the tournament to get four girls to shoot sub-100.
It's a good start for a Polson team with plenty of expectations this year, as the girls have depth and experience on their side. Owen said he hasn't settled on a lineup yet and the competition for the varsity spots is still up in the air.
Another promising sign is that this invitational was the first of the year and Owen's team had just three days practice going into it.
"We're kind of hoping the kids come in ready," Owen said. "They have a whole summer to golf. "
Owen said that he feels the girls team is all business when it comes to playing golf.
The boys' team got a no score because they fielded three golfers. However that didn't erase a great opening performance by Hayden Congdon, who notched an 82.
"He's going to be less distracted this year and he's going to be hungrier," Owen said.
Owen added that he also liked what he saw from Dalton Noyes, who brought down his 115 score from last year to a 93 in Anaconda.
Owen said he only fielded three golfers because he thought those were the ones that were ready.
Anaconda's Old Works Golf Course is a Jack Nichlaus-designed, links-type course that was named Montana's No. 1 golf course in Golf Week 2011.
"It's in really good shape and it's a challenging course," Owen said. "It's a linkstype of course, if you have a shot get away, that's bad. You've got to be on-target."
Built on the site of Anaconda's historic century-old copper smelter, it was the first course ever built on a Federal EPA Superfund site.
Owen said it was a mid-range course and one interesting feature is that they use the black slag from the Anaconda mines as sand in the sand traps.
"It acts just like sand," Owen said. "It's kind of fun."