VERSAILLES — Heading into the Cross County Conference golf tournament, National Trail’s girls team knew it was going to need some help if it was going to win or share the title.
Going into the tournament the team was alone in second place having only lost to undefeated Miami East during the season. In order for Trail to garner the title they had to win the tournament and have East finish third or below.
With a very determined team effort, the team shot a tournament best 394 and got the help it needed when Miami East finished fourth. This gave the outright championship to National Trail.
“This was just a very determined group of girls today. They were discussing all the scenarios on the bus, so they were all well aware of our situation,” said Trail Coach Gene Eyler. “After losing out last year by just one stroke, it was easy to see in their faces they would not let that happen again. I am very proud of the way they supported each other, pulled together and made it a solid team effort for the win.”
After struggling on her first nine and suffering some really tough breaks, Makenna Jones was able to regroup to finish with an 85. This earned her medalist honors for the tournament, 1st Team All-League and Player of the Year, her fourth straight year for all those honors.
Katelyn Hines, having played only once in the last week due to a pulled hamstring, shot a gutsy 98. This enabled her to earn 1st Team All-League honors which are based on dual matches and her tournament finish. She was 7th overall in the league.
Cait Gilland had another solid round finishing the tough 18 holes with a 105 total. She was named to Special Mention All-League.
Brooklyn Middleton also continue her steady play with a 106. This rounded out the scoring for the Blazers.
Sophomore Avery Rutan also made the trip and carded a 120.
“Avery has shown great improvement recently with only a couple weeks left in the season,” Eyler said.
Next up is the D-II sectional tournament Wednesday, Sept. 25. This will also be played at Stillwater Valley GC.
The Blazers boys team played in the CCC tournament and came away with a very successful day, coming in with a 394 and a fifth place finish on the day.
The Blazers were led by sophomore Khyler Grant and senior Austin Knapp who both carded a 95. Senior Tyler Porter came in just behind them, firing a 98.
These three scores put the team in great shape on the day and helped keep the Blazers under 400. Freshman Zachary Rutan came in with the fourth score of a 108, which put the team score at 396.
The 396 tied Trail with Tri-Village for fifth place on the day. After the tiebreaker, which is the fifth best score for the team, senior Sam Roberts’ 110 was 10 strokes better than Tri-Village’s fifth score.
“This was Sam’s final round for the Trail golf program due to his commitments with school, and there couldn’t have been a better conclusion to his career as he helped us get one last win,” Trail coach Ramon Rutan said.
Junior Jesse Norton fought through a tough day and finished with a 116.
“The boys have worked hard and shown tremendous improvement over last season. At 2018’s CCC tournament the boys shot a 483, 87 strokes higher than this season. Austin Knapp dropped 16 strokes, Tyler Porter dropped 24 strokes, Khyler Grant dropped 21 strokes, and Jesse Norton dropped 18 strokes,” Rutan said. “This improvement reflects the work and dedication the boys have shown all season and even over the summer when we worked together. I couldn’t be more proud of their effort! They represented National Trail well and everyone should be proud of the season they have had.”
The season hasn’t ended yet, though. The team was scheduled to travel to their nemesis Turtle Creek Golf Course on Tuesday, Sept. 24 for the sectional tournament.
Tri-County North shot a 379 on the day and featured the co-medalists of the tournament.
Alex Wayman and Ethan Kelly each shot 86’s to earn first team All-League honors. Matt O’Dell shot a 95 and Landon Owens fired a 112. Ehtan Fitch (117) and Hunter Degrasse (120) rounded out the roster for the Panthers.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on follow on Twitter @emowen_RH