Hanford Champion
Year: 2012
Team: Golf (Girls)

The State Champion Hanford girls golf team includes, left to right, head coach Mike Niedhold, Katie Stephens, Lacy Skwarek, Bri Hadler, Kelsey Aiello, Taylor Kain-Godoy and assistant coach Dana Kain.


At Esmeralda in Spokane, the Hanford girls knew the odds were good for a title with all five players making the cut after Tuesday’s first round.

The Falcons’ 1-2 punch of Kelsey Aiello and Taylor Kain-Godoy finished tied for ninth with 154. But Katie Stephens wasn’t far behind in 13th with a 159, and freshman Lacy Skwarek was 18th at 164. Senior Bri Hadler finished tied for 32nd at 173.

In the end, it wasn’t even close. Hanford had 121.5 points, while runner-up Mt. Spokane had 95.

“It makes for lots of points when everyone makes the cut,” Hanford girls coach Mike Neidhold said. “The kids are pretty excited.”

Kain-Godoy said the team wanted the title.

“We started off the year with that as our goal,” she said.

She and Aiello played evenly all season long.

“It’s pretty funny,” Kain-Godoy said. “I’ve actually played with Kelsey since we were 9 years old. We’ve always competed, but she’s my best friend.”
Neither player felt they played their best Wednesday: Kain-Godoy had a 79 and Aiello an 80.

“I was chipping all right,” Aiello said. “But I could not make a putt to save my life. It hurt my round.”

Sophomore Sierra Bezdicek of Mt. Spokane beat her sister, Savana, in the first playoff hole to win medalist honors at 146.

Pasco’s Neydeen Martinez and Southridge’s Catherine Warner tied for 27th with 169s.

Team Scores:

Hanford 121.50, Mt. Spokane 95, Mercer Island 82.50, Decatur 64.50, Peninsula 60.50, Enumclaw 40, Timberline 28.50, Prairie 15, Mountain View 10, Kennedy Catholic 1.50.

Top 10:

1, Savana Bezdicek (Mt. Spokane) 74-72 and Sierra Bezdicek (Mt. Spokane) 75-71 tied at 146 (Si. Bezdicek won on first playoff hole); 3, Sammie Pless (Holy Names Academy) 73-74—147; 4, Chelsea Saelee (Mercer Island) 78-70—148; 5, Rachel Lewis (Peninsula) 73-76—149; 6, Amanda Beyke (Decatur) 73-77—150; 7, Chloe Bartek (Columbia River) 76-75—151; 8, Cassie McKinley (Shorewood) 76-77—153; 9t, Kelsey Aiello (Hanford) 74-80 and Taylor Kain-Godoy (Hanford) 75-79 tied at 154.

Local—13, Katie Stephens (Hanford) 79-80—159; 18, Lacy Skwarek (Hanford) 81-83—164; 27t, Neydeen Martinez (Pasco) 85-84—169 and Catherine Warner (Southridge) 88-81—169; 32t, Bri Hadler (Hanford) 87-86—173 (tied 3 others).


Hanford's five golfers all made the cut at Esmeralda in Spokane, finishing in the top 40.

"It's quite an accomplishment to get everyone through the first round," said Hanford coach Mike Neidhold. "You always think you'll get there, but golf is such a fickle sport, you're just never sure on a course you're not used to playing."

Leading the way was Kelsey Aiello, who fired a 74, is tied for fourth and is just one stroke off the leaders -- Decatur's Amanda Beyke, Peninsula's Rachel Lewis, and Sammie Pless of Hole Names Academy.

Hanford's Taylor Kain-Godoy is one stroke behind Aiello at 75.

"They both played real well," Neidhold said. "They drove it well today. They made their putts. Taylor was spot on with her wedges today. And freshman Kacy Skwarek shot an 81."

For Aiello, she counted 33 putts for the day.

"The greens were actually slower than I'm used to playing," Aiello said. "But I was just hitting the ball really well, and getting on the greens in regulation."
Kain-Godoy also felt good about her round.

"My drives were working well," she said. "Actually everything was working well today."

Teammate Katie Stephens had a 79, and Bri Hadler had an 87. Pasco's Neydeen Martinez also advanced with an 85.

Southridge's Catherine Warner will also play today after firing an 88.