Sports

Enumclaw’s Howells pushes Cascade to state title

A third-place individual finish and the Class 1A state team title was a pretty good two day’s worth of work for Alex Howells.

Howells, a junior from Enumclaw, led Cascade Christian to the girls state golf championship during play May 24 and 25 at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland, Wash.

“It was awesome,” Howells said. “It was really cool.

“We were working so hard throughout the season,” she said of the nine-member team of which three were at the state tournament. “And then getting to that place.”

In only its second year as a program, winning the state title was a big feat for Cascade Christian’s girls. Cascade Christian won it with 26 points. Montesano was second at 20.50 and Forest Ridge High School was third with 19.

After finishing up the first round in a four-way tie for third with an 84-stroke performance, Howells came back to claim third, shooting 81 the second day for a two-day total of 165.

Four-time champion Kelli Bowers from Chelan, who shot 2-under par on Day 2, won it with 154 strokes, one stroke ahead of second-place Alyssa Maine of Freeman.

Howells placed second in 2009, wedged between Bowers and Maine, but the Cougars were not eligible for a team trophy since no other player made the second-day cut. Two players are needed for a team score.

This year, Cougar teammate Kadyn Coltom was 13th to sew up the title for Cascade Christian.

“Alex is an amazing young woman,” coach Lucy Cole said. “She works really hard to improve her golf game staying after practice or heading to the Enumclaw course in the evenings and on the weekends.

“Alex leads by example. She continually works hard on every part of her game and she encourages the other players as they play.”

Much like the team, this is Howells’ second year of golf. After years of lessons, she stepped away from the sport.

“Now I really love it,” she said.

Her mom, Anni, said dad, Tony, provided the driving force behind Alex and younger brother AJ’s time in lessons when they were young. AJ also played in the state tournament for Cascade Christian’s boys team, but did not make the second-day cut.

“They’re my golf buddies,” Howells said of dad and brother.

Tony Howells spent his high school career on the fairways for Enumclaw High, where his name is still on a couple of individual course records, and he was a member of the Hornets’ run at state.

“He (dad) helped me out a lot,” said Alex, who is pushed soccer and other sports aside now for the greens. “Golf is the main one now. I’m trying to work really hard at it.”

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