Van Kirk finishes 30th at state tourney; next year already in works

Kingman High's Bekah Van Kirk finished in 30th place at last weekend's Division I state girls golf tournament in Phoenix, but it's an experience that KHS coach Ryan Gery hopes she will remember next year.

"This is the best I saw Bekah play," Gery said. "I knew that when she made it to state and got there she would feel the competitive spirit atmosphere and play her best."

Van Kirk shot an 82 on the first day and followed it up with an 84 on the second day for a tournament score of 166.

Phoenix Xavier's Hannah O'Sullivan won the tournament with a 132 after shooting a 68 and 64.

"She tries to match people shot-for-shot with who she plays with," Gery said. "She got paired up with some pretty good players over the two days and played her best, which was outstanding. I could tell that she could feel how good she was playing. She had a certain rhythm and groove that just worked for her."

Van Kirk, a sophomore, qualified for the state tournament Oct. 8 after she posted her fifth qualifying score. She missed last year's tournament by falling just two qualifying marks short.

"It was a great experience and I am looking forward to going again next year," Gery said.