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Three storylines to watch for at state golf


By Brad Hallier

Bad weather throughout the state pushed back many regional tournaments last week, which meant state preparation was shorter for many golfers.

Monday, seven state golf championships will be contested throughout Kansas. Here are three storylines to watch for.

Can Hesston, Cheney compete in a loaded Class 3A field?

There are some great teams in Class 3A. Wichita Collegiate. Lakin. Cheney. Hesston. Santa Fe Trail. Sabetha, Topeka Hayden.

Collegiate is probably the favorite at the tournament Monday and Tuesday at Emporia Municipal, followed by Sabetha, but Cheney and Hesston could contend as well.

Hesston won the Southeast of Saline regional, a tight regional where the difference between qualifying for state and missing state was a fifth-place scorecard tiebreaker. Hesston won with a 323, getting three golfers in the top seven, including Grant Waterson and Palmer Welsh, who finished fourth with identical 77s. Carter Frey was seventh with an 82.

Cheney finished second in a loaded field at its course, edging Wichita Trinity by one stroke. Aiden Lynch led the way with a 74 and third-place finish.

Trinity Catholic looks to come home with a trophy

Winning Class 2A at Dodge City’s Mariah Hills will be a challenge, considering Salina Sacred Heart is the eight-time reigning state champion. But Trinity Catholic has a great chance to come home with a trophy and some individual medals.

The Celtics battled the elements at the Syracuse regional, winning by eight strokes with a 344. Lincoln Barnes led the way with a regional championship with a 78. Eric Armour and Myles Blaylock also had top-10 finishes.

It can be hard to compare scores regional to regional, as Trinity had the eighth-best qualifying score, but the Celtics should have a good chance at a top-three finish.

Is everyone playing for second place in 1A?

South Gray looks to be an overwhelming favorite at the 1A tournament in Hesston. Nobody was remotely close to South Gray’s regional score of 316. The Rebels are also the reigning state champion.

Central Christian, however, is one to watch out for if South Gray slips at all. The Cougars won the Halstead regional by 40 strokes. Cael Kooiman won the regional with an 80, one stroke ahead of runner-up Nathan Reed and two ahead of Ryland Kooiman, who was fourth.

The Cougars are young too, with five of the six state participants a junior or younger.