Conestoga junior Ryan Tall carded a 1-under 71 at Turtle Creek Golf Club Monday to capture the Central League championship.
Tall finished a shot ahead of Andrew Todaro, a senior at Springfield who matched par with a 72. It was a solid showing for Todaro, who missed his junior season after sustaining a hand injury playing baseball.
If I’m reading the color coding on the results correctly – and I think I am – the Central League will send 21 players to the District One Tournament back at the Turtle, beginning Oct. 10.
Strath Haven freshman Kevin Smith, who gained a lot of tournament experience on the junior golf scene, was in a group of four players who finished in a tie for third at 3-over 75. He was joined at that figure by Radnor senior Conor Rinehart, Garnet Valley senior Jimmy Gillespie and Conestoga senior Peter Zuraw. It is a repeat trip to districts for Gillespie.
Three players – Marple Newtown junior Mike May, Radnor senior Chris Austen and Conestoga junior Mike Cook – finished in a tie for seventh, each carding a 76.
Reigning PIAA Class AAA team champion Radnor had three of the four players tied for 10th at 5-over 77, including senior Michael Sydnes, who was of the leading players in the Raiders’ run to the state title last fall, sophomore David Colleran, the Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior Boys’ champion this summer, and junior Will Condran. They were joined at that figure by Lower Merion senior Alex Golland.
Another Strath Haven freshman, David Merz, finished alone in 14th place with a 78.
Three more Radnor players were among a group of five players tied for 15th at 80, including sophomore Jake Calamaro, who came up big in the run to the state title as a freshman last fall, sophomore Blake Stephano and senior Kevin Seits. They were joined at that figure by Strath Haven junior Ben Newtown and Harriton freshman Andrew Wallace.
It appears there was a playoff for the final two tickets to the District One Tournament among the four players who shot 81. It appears that Conestoga freshman Ben Lee and Harriton senior Nick Went got in and Lower Merion senior Austin Farinella and Harriton sophomore Matt Stein did not advance.
On the girls side, Conestoga sophomore Samantha Yao, who had a strong showing in the district tournament at the Turtle last fall, fired a very impressive 3-under 69 to cruise to the title.
Radnor freshman June Kim was the runnerup as her 80 was one shot better than big sister Gabby Kim, the reigning PIAA Class AAA East Regional champion who took third with an 81.
Strath Haven junior Lauren Butscher finished fourth with an 83.
Pretty sure the District One Tournament for the girls will open Oct. 10 at Gilbertsville Golf Club’s Red and White nines with those making the cut finishing up the next day at Turtle Creek. A girls team champion will also be crowned at Gilbertsville.
The boys team title will be decided Oct. 11 at Turtle Creek.
Radnor is undefeated in nine Central League matches and figures to have a pretty good shot at being one of the two teams representing the Central in the team competition.
Sydnes, Calamaro, Colleran and Gabby Kim teamed up with the departed Brynn Walker to take the district and state titles last fall. Radnor coach Andy Achenbach will face some tough choices when it comes to picking the five players – four scores count – to represent the Raiders should they grab one of the Central berths at districts.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m no longer on staff at the Daily Times. If you’re reading this, you’re still finding the blog, which I’ve been able to keep very active this summer and hope to keep it that way. You can email me at email@example.com. It’s tough to get out and actually live blog events, but not impossible. I’m hoping to join the scholastic postseason trail somewhere along the line.