After a long winter, the Mercer Island Girls Golf team has commenced the defense of its 2017 Class 3A state championship.
The team is led by senior co-captains, four-time varsity letter winners and two-time state champions Ella Warburg and Estey Chen. Commitment to early practices provided the opportunity to knock rust off the swing and begin forging the mindset for what is sure to be a highly competitive 2018 season.
“Our program has a strong history of success. This year we are focusing on taking care of the team, relying on chemistry and teamwork to help us compete against one of the most competitive leagues in recent history,” Mercer Island head coach Don Papasedero said.
The team kicked off its title defense with a strong victory against Lake Washington at Bellevue Municipal Golf Course. The Islanders earned a 221-247 victory on March 15. Ella Warburg (39) earned first place, freshman Gihoe Seo (41) captured second place and Estey Chen (43) tallied a third place finish. Junior Annelise Rorem registered a fifth place finish with a solid 48.
Most recently, for the first time in the event’s 13-year history, The Islanders traveled to the Wenatchee Invitational tournament, featuring over 20 teams, 118 participants and with some of the top golfers from Eastern Washington. The Islanders won the overall event, besting the all-time tournament scoring record. Individually, once again Ella Warburg was the tournament medalist, firing a 68 with a program-tying record seven birdies. Warburg was closely followed by Gihoe Seo, who also went low, shooting a 71 with a stout six birdies. In addition to an outstanding round from co-captain Estey Chen, nearly every girl posted career bests for 18 holes, including Annelise Rorem, Lilly Pruchno, Grace Gottesman, Katelyn Travis and Grace Shaddle.