For the first time as a team, the Taylor County boys golf team has made the state tournament.
At the Links at Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort, Taylor County captured a regional title along with the medalist, another first in school history.
“It makes me feel like all the hard work that we have put in the past couple years has finally paid off,” Bulldogs coach John Carson said. “From the beginning of the year we said that our goal was to reach the state tournament. And to actually achieve the goals that we set with this group of guys has been really special.”
Bulldogs senior Cole Wentworth, a week after winning a district title, shot a 2-over par 74 to come in as the low individual, leading Taylor County to a 334 total.
“As far as having a district and regional medalist, Cole has had an up and down year but for him to pull it together at the end of the season when it counts the most says a lot about his hard work and determination and drive to be successful,” Carson said. “We’re looking forward to giving our best effort against the best competition at state.”
Wentworth’s sum was one stroke better than second-place Maclay, which received a round of 78 from Maclay sophomore Bryson Bianco, the third best 18-hole total on a blustery day.
Florida High junior Stephen Davis, the city champion, shot 82 and failed to advance.
Aucilla Christian’s boys picked up an 81 from junior Tima Finlayson during the Warriors’ first regional appearance.
Chiles advances to state on miracle DQ
At the Country Club of Ocala, the District 1-3A tournament nearly didn’t produce a local team or individual advancing to the state tournament, the first time that would have happened since 2010.
Chiles was slated to finish third behind Creekside, but Creekside’s No. 1 player threw a club 15 feet during the round, a penalty which results in disqualification. The Knights appealed the ruling but were denied.
Leon coach Ryan Pennington was the one who reported the unsportsmanlike conduct to the jury of regional authorities.
Bartram Trail finished first with 310, followed by Creekside’s original 323 total and Chiles at 328. Leon’s season ended with a total of 332.
The Timberwolves’ low golfer was sophomore Bryce Johnson, who shot 76. For the Lions, it was senior Jordan Jones, who shot 78.
Chiles has now made the state tournament five straight years.
Aucilla’s Nennstiel, Maclay’s Willis win district XC titles
On his school’s campus, Maclay cross country coach Gary Droze elected to sit out his top four runners, easily relying on depth instead to win a district title.
But the bigger point was for his remaining runners to race at the front of the pack, each of them vying to be the 5-8 runners to move onto the regional meet.
As a result of the absence, Aucilla Christian junior Gatlin Nennstiel and North Florida Christian senior Chase Savary were left to duel, not chase.
With 10 meters left, Nennstiel slipped past Savary in a back-and-forth race to win the District 3-1A title. Maclay’s Aneesh Rahangdale, Daniel Becker and Steven Simpkins finished 3-4-5, respectively.
For the girls, Marauders junior Caroline Willis won a district title ahead of four teammates. The region meet is Oct. 31 at Alligator Lake in Lake City.
Around the area:
The Florida High girls cross country team won a district title for the first time since 2006, taking down Wakulla in a meet in Crawfordville. The Seminoles had 38 points to the War Eagles’ 49. Wakulla junior Haleigh Martin captured a district title ahead of Seminoles sixth grader Tonie Morgan.
Wakulla’s boys won their respective side, but Rickards seniors Solomon Stevens and Evan Garrison went 1-2 for the Raiders to move on to the region meet. Suwannee’s Timothy Choe came in third, followed up by Wakulla’s Bryce Cole.
As a team Rickards came in just two points out of second behind the Bulldogs, while Florida High was a point behind Rickards, settling for fourth.
In girls Region 1-1A golf in Destin, John Paul II’s girls team advanced to the state tournament for the third straight year thanks to a second-place finish. Panthers senior Teresa Conroy was the individual medalist, shooting an even-par round of 72. Grace Murray shot 79, her lowest 18-hole high school total.
And in boys 2A golf, Rickards senior Matthew Dunn qualified for the state tournament as an individual.
REGION 1-3A BOYS GOLF IN OCALA:
2. Chiles, 328: Bryce Johnson 76, Connor Futrell 82, Alex deCardenas 83, Winston Ortiz 87
4. Leon, 332: Jordan Jones 78, Scott Epting 82, Easton Mayo 84, Jake Smith 88
Lincoln: Dylan Vause 81, Tripp Grable 89
REGION 1-1A BOYS GOLF IN DESTIN:
1. Taylor County, 334: Cole Wentworth 74, Graham Lynn 84, Daniel Everett 84, Greyson Hicks 92
2. Maclay, 335: Bryson Bianco 78, John Menton 80, Spencer Fairfield 88, Miller Shelfer 89
Aucilla Christian, 377: Tima Finlayson 81, Ryan Jackson 93, Cody Smith 97, Buddy Mueller 106
Florida High: Stephen Davis, 82
John Paul II: Phil Regalado 100
Madison County: Gabe Miller 100
DISTRICT 3-1A BOYS INDIVIDUAL TOP 10:
1. Gatlin Nennstiel (Aucilla), 17:20.10
2. Chase Savary (NFC), 17:20.53
3. Aneesh Rahangdale (Maclay), 18:33.59
4. Daniel Becker (Maclay), 18:43.85
5. Steven Simpkins (Maclay), 18:44.06
6. Matthias Laywell (John Paul II), 18:50.98
7. Johnny McClure (Maclay), 18:59.65
8. George Escobar (Maclay), 19:30.19
9. James McDuffie (Maclay), 19:34.22
10. Nick Arceneaux (Aucilla), 19:39.42
D3-1A BOYS TEAM RESULTS:
1. Maclay, 22
2. Aucilla Christian, 46
3. John Paul II, 64
DISTRICT 3-1A GIRLS INDIVIDUAL TOP 10:
1. Caroline Willis (Maclay), 19:56.94
2. Molly McCann (Maclay), 20:13.36
3. Lindsay James (Maclay), 20:29.35
4. Katie Whitworth (Maclay), 20:42.65
5. Rachel Rumana (Maclay), 21:33.52
6. Julia Rose Travis (John Paul II), 21:52.32
7. Anna Leigh Trest (Aucilla Christian), 22:25.69
8. Olivia Walton (Aucilla), 22:47.75
9. Madison Perkins (Maclay), 22:59.04
10. Sarah Tharpe (Aucilla), 22:59.68
D3-1A GIRLS TEAM RESULTS:
1. Maclay, 15
2. Aucilla Christian, 52
3. John Paul II, 63