ST. GEORGE — The Pine View Panthers won their second straight 4A girls golf state championship Thursday, outdistancing runner-up Desert Hills by 31 strokes.
Led by sophomore Alyssa Butterfus, the Panthers’ top four players finished with a team score of 702 strokes over the two-day, 36-hole event, which was staged at Sunbrook Golf Club in St. George.
After posting an 88 during the first day’s round, Butterfus shot an 83 on Thursday, the second-best score of the day. Joining her as state medalists were teammates Katelyn Leavitt, Hallie Wieland and Kenzi Owen, all of whom scored below 90 on Thursday. Those top four Panthers ended up in the No. 5 through No. 8 spots on the top 10 individual scorers list.
Dixie senior Annabelle Millard was the state’s top individual medalist in 4A with an overall score of 162, having followed her 80 on Wednesday with an 82 the second day. Cedar High sophomore RaeLee Johnson was a close runner-up behind Millard at 165 strokes. Johnson held a two-stroke lead over Millard after the first 18 holes, having shot a 78 on Wednesday.
Pine View head coach Matt Wieland said gusty winds plagued the golfers on Wednesday, negatively affecting scores.
“Conditions yesterday were brutal,” he said. “I mean, it was really a tough day. If you look back, you’ll see, across the board, scores were great through the first six or seven holes, because the weather was great. And then the weather turned and you saw the difference in scores.”
“But, we fought through it,” Wieland added. “I thought for a time on the back nine that we were going to be playing from behind today, but they pushed through and finished strong.”
Pine View scored 355 the first day, which was 18 strokes better than second-place Desert Hills’ 373. Both teams shot better on Thursday, with Pine View posting a 347 and the Thunder shooting 360.
“Coming out today, we knew that we had enough of a cushion that we could be relaxed,” Wieland said. “And for the most part, the girls played that way. They had a few troubles here and there, but they stayed in the zone all day long. They played well and never got too far ahead of themselves.”
As the trophies and medals were being handed out, Wieland and his players were already sporting new black “Back 2 Back” T-shirts commemorating the Panthers’ two straight state titles.
“We had enough of a lead going into today that we went ahead and had the shirts made this morning,” Wieland explained.
Although the Panthers will lose three of their top six golfers to graduatio, they are expected to contend again next year as Butterfus, Hallie Wieland and Owen are all returning.
Meanwhile, Dixie’s Millard, who will be joining Utah Valley University’s collegiate team this fall, said “grateful” was the main word that came to mind as she reflected on the past four years.
“My high school career has been filled with highs and lows and everything in between,” she said. “The tournament wasn’t my best work, but that’s OK, because I gave it my all.”
“I’m so grateful for this year and for my team,” Millard added. “And my coach as well, for everything he did this year. I couldn’t have asked for a better four years. It was a pleasure to play for Dixie High School.”
For complete team and individual results, click here.
4A girls golf state championship
May 11-12, Sunbrook, St. George
Team scores (36 holes)
- Pine View, 702
- Desert Hills, 733
- Ridgeline, 764
- Dixie, 772
- Green Canyon, 791
- Sky View, 817
- Cedar, 832
- Bear River, 842
Missed cut after first day: Crimson Cliffs, Hurricane, Logan, Snow Canyon and Mountain Crest.
Individual medalists (36 holes)
- 162 – Annabelle Millard, Dixie
- 165 – RaeLee Johnson, Cedar
- 167 – Rylee Payne, Desert Hills
- 170 – Maddie Fujimoto, Ridgeline
- 171 – Alyssa Butterfus, Pine View
- 174 – Katelyn Leavitt, Pine View
- 177 – Hallie Wieland, Pine View
- 180 – Kenzi Owen, Pine View
- 183 – Ellie Johnson, Hurricane
- 184 – Iris Pead, Dixie
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