BEST IN STATE: The Owasso team includes, from left, Faith Belmear, Jordan Leonard, Junior Varsity Coach Michele Cantrell, Madison LaValle, Katherine Horne, Alexis McDonald and Madison Foster.
With most of its team returning next year, Owasso stands a good chance to repeat as state champions when it defends its state title next spring.
“Yep, that’s the plan,” says Faith Belmear, who was the highest finisher of the Lady Rams.
The Lady Rams won the Class 6A Girls state championship on May 5 at The Club at Indian Springs in Broken Arrow. They trailed Norman by eight shots after round one the previous day, then overcame that deficit with a 26-shot improvement. Owasso shot a two-day total of 658 (342-316), 17 better than runner-up Norman, who finished with 675 (334-341).
Belmear was the Lady Rams’ lowest shooter with 155 swings (81-74) and the second in the area to Broken Arrow’s Taylor Dobson (75-72-147), who was individual runner-up. Yujeong Son of Norman was the top medalist, recording a performance of 144 (72-72).
A sophomore and No. 1 Bag for the Rams in the 2016 season, Belmear shot a career-low of 74 in the final 18 holes, on her way to a fifth-place finish in the individual standings. Other Lady Ram golfers were Jordan Leonard (81-82-163), Katherine Horne (91-76-167), Alexis McDonald (89-90-179) and Madison LaValle (98-84—182).
“The next two years, we’re going to have a full team. We plan on winning state again,” Belmear says.
Owasso only lost one senior (Leonard) from its starting five. Besides Belmear, one other sophomore and two juniors will return next season.
Owasso had fared well in tournaments this season and even won the Frontier Conference Championship less than a month prior to state. The Lady Rams knew they pull it out.
“On the first day, we were all feeling confident even though we didn’t play our best,” Belmear says. “Because we knew we could shoot lower, and we showed it that during the season this year. The second day, we all played our best I think we did this season.
“We all knew we had to improve by two or three strokes to beat Norman out, if not more,” Belmear says. “At the beginning of my round, I was feeling good and confident. I turned it on throughout the round. I never really had a bad hole.”
Doing it on a Broken Arrow course made it even more special.
“Broken Arrow and Union are our two biggest rivals,” Belmear says. “They persist throughout the year too, and at state.”