Issaquah High School golfers stand with Mersadie Tallman at state
May 29, 2012
By Matt Carstens
For Mersadie Tallman, going to state isn’t just about representing the Issaquah High School Eagles; it’s also about representing the Tallmans.
Her older sister Brittany, who is currently playing for the University of Washington, won the 3A state championship in 2005 and 2007.
Now that Issaquah has moved to 4A, the competition has risen.
“Mersadie did pretty well,” Issaquah head coach Tom Bakamus said. “She followed in her sister’s footsteps, which is pretty tough. She probably had a lot of pressure to live up to that.”
Tallman shot a 79 the first day, clearing the cut of 88 easily. On the second day, her score slipped to 81, which tied her for 14th overall.
“I know she was disappointed in how she finished,” Bakamus said. “But I know she took a lot of positives out of it, and I expect nothing but better scoring from her in the next few years.”
Tallman is only a freshman, so Bakamus said he is excited for her future with Issaquah.
Issaquah girls golf had only one state representative, but it’s senior captain Elin Skaardal who Bakamus said he will miss the most.
“It’s going to be tough to replace her,” he said. “She was competitive through all four years, and she got better every year. She was definitely our No. 2 golfer all year long. She ran into a few difficulties at districts and didn’t quite make it to state. She was a great leader and a great teammate.”
On the boys’ side, Issaquah sent two, sophomore Taylor Swingle and junior Brian Jung, to state. Swingle shot an 82 on day one and made the cut right on the nose, while Jung shot an 83 and missed day two by one stroke.
Day two saw more difficulties for Swingle.
“Taylor had his troubles the next day,” Bakamus said. “He got into the rough, made a couple brave decisions. Good learning experience for him. Things he’ll learn and grow on.
“He tried to make a shot that was hard, instead of taking your medicine, getting out to play it, he tried to take the miracle shot, which gets you more into trouble,” he added. “I think he ballooned on one hole and that multiplied into a couple bad holes right in a row. That kind of put him out of the tournament right away there.”
Even though Swingle had a rough go, Bakamus knows his future’s bright.
“He’s only a sophomore and he really improved over last year, so I really expect good things from him in the future,” Bakamus said.
Since the regular season for boys golf takes place in the fall and the state tournament isn’t until May, Bakamus said it puts them at a little bit of a disadvantage.
“We only get them 20 days before state starts,” he said. “So most of their practice is on their own. For some people, it’s difficult. Some people want to play baseball, and that’s the start of baseball season. Both of ours didn’t play any other sport, so they could practice on their own.”
Bakamus said it is difficult financially as well. If you don’t belong to a country club, you have to pay every time you want to practice.
“It really hurts our team because there’s no golf course in Issaquah,” Bakamus said. “And we don’t play on a private country club. We’re in a big disadvantage when we play the private country club schools. I think we’ve done pretty well lately.”