Rarely does a team nearly triple its number of athletes from one year to the next, but that’s what Mike Verhulst and the Seaside girls golf program has done.
The Lady Gulls finished the 2018 season with just three golfers in the district tournament — not even enough to score in the team standings. Seaside and three other schools finished with incomplete team scores.
Through three weeks of the 2019 spring season, Verhulst had eight golfers on his roster.
For smaller schools such as Seaside, fielding a complete team in golf is sometimes half the battle. And now that the Gulls have plenty to score as a team, anything is possible.
The three returners are all back. Sophomore Tristyn McFadden — who entered the 2018 season as Seaside’s No. 1 golfer as just a freshmen — is back, and scoring well.
In last year’s Cowapa League tournament, McFadden fired a 107 for Seaside’s top score. A week later in the district tournament, McFadden shot a 108 on the first day and 102 on the second — the Gulls’ best score by 27 strokes.
The first time out in 2019, McFadden shot a 96 in a tournament at Tillamook, where she parred two of the first five holes and finished the front nine with a 47.
Individually, she finished third, and more importantly, the Gulls were just two strokes behind Astoria for third in the team standings.
In the same tournament, junior Caitlin Hillman had a 114 — also topping her scores from the district tournament.
Junior Sydney Rapp is Seaside’s third varsity returner.
Rounding out the 2019 Seaside roster will be senior Ella Eronen, junior Frida Ruff, and freshmen Emma Arden, Paris Johnson, Anna Knoch and Elise Seppa.