AURORA | In Tuesday’s highly competitive Class 5A Southern Regional boys golf tournament at Murphy Creek G.C., Cherokee Trail and Regis Jesuit combined to grab seven spots in the upcoming 5A state tournament.
The Raiders — winners of seven of the last eight 5A state championships — won’t go into the Oct. 1-2 5A state tournament at the Colorado Springs Country Club as an automatic team qualifier, but coach Craig Rogers will have nonetheless have four players in the field.
Cherokee Trail coach Jason LeClaire also has the three players required to record a team score at the state tournament, led by junior Beam Boonta, who shot a strong round of 4-under-par to finish in a tie for second individually.
Boonta and company were all looking up at Fossil Ridge star Dillon Stewart, who ran away with the regional title with a score of 9-under-par 63. The SaberCats finished easily atop the field, while Lakewood gained the second team state berth with a three-stroke cushion over Cherokee Trail.
The Cougars had two strokes on Regis Jesuit for third place, as freshman Andrew Jang and sophomore Mason Bernard also earned their way into the state field.
Jang — younger brother of former Cherokee Trail multiple-time state qualifier Ji Woo Jang, who was part of the 2014 team that was the program’s only previous team to have enough players to score at the state tournament — shot a 77 to finish solidly in the field of 13 individual qualifiers not on one of the top two teams. Bernard, meanwhile, shot a 79 and was one of four players to emerge from a five-man playoff to advance to state.
Jake Williams finished one stroke out of the playoff and currently holds the second alternate spot, meaning he would move into the state field if two players who finished above him were to withdraw prior to the tournament.
Regis Jesuit’s Freddie Ingham also ended up in the five-way playoff and came away with one of the state spots, giving the Continental League champions a full compliment of players in the field.
Joining Ingham for the Raiders will be senior Walker Fuller, the only returning player from last season’s title winner, in addition to junior Bo Wardysnki and senior Eddy Custy.
Wardynski posted the top regional score for Regis Jesuit as he shot even par, with Fuller coming next with a 76.
The Raiders will have their work cut out for them at the state tournament with what Stewart — last season’s 5A runner-up — and his teammates demonstrated at the regional tournament. Regis Jesuit also plays at the Colorado Springs Country Club, the last place it was denied the state championship in the past eight years.
Hinkley also played in the regional, but all three T-Birds finished outside the state qualifying group.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports
CLASS 5A NORTHERN REGIONAL BOYS GOLF
Sept. 17 at Murphy Creek G.C.
Team scores (par 216): 1. Fossil Ridge 210; 2. Lakewood 221; 3. CHEROKEE TRAIL 224; 4. REGIS JESUIT 226; 5. Rocky Mountain 239; 6. Castle View 241; 7. ThunderRidge 243; 8. Chatfield 250; 9. Prairie View 257; 10. Loveland 261; 11. Pine Creek 263; T12. Bear Creek 302; T12. Vista Ridge 302; 14. Northglenn 354; 15. HINKLEY 372
Top 15 individuals (par 72): 1. Dillon Stewart (Fossil Ridge) 63; T2. BEAM BOONTA (CHEROKEE TRAIL) 68; T2. Ryan Liao (Lakewood) 68; 4. Owen Cornmesser (Fossil Ridge) 71; 5. BO WARDYNSKI (REGIS JESUIT) 72; 6. Zach Cushman (Castle View) 74; T7. WALKER FULLER (REGIS JESUIT) 76; T7. Charlie Wang (Fossil Ridge) 76; T7. Max Lange (Lakewood) 76; T7. Ryan Nelson (Rocky Mountain) 76; T11. ANDREW JANG (CHEROKEE TRAIL) 77; T11. Jeff Nelson (Prairie View) 77; T11. Jace Wright (Lakewood) 77; T14. EDDIE CUSTY (REGIS JESUIT) 78; T14. Max Heupel (Chatfield) 78
Aurora team-by-team results (in order of finish)
Cherokee Trail (224): Beam Boonta 68 (state qualifier), Andrew Jang 77 (state qualifier), Mason Bernard 79 (state qualifier), Jake Williams 80 (2nd alternate); Regis Jesuit (226): Bo Wardynski 72 (state qualifier); Walker Fuller 77 (state qualifier); Eddie Custy 79 (state qualifier); Freddie Ingham 80 (state qualifier); Hinkley (372): Cory Henry 105, Gabe Zavala 118, Arnold Acosta 146