The Olentangy Liberty boys golf team started what it hopes will be another lengthy postseason push, firing a combined 303 to nab a Division I sectional title by a single stroke Tuesday at Turnberry.
The Patriots, who qualified for the upcoming district tournament along with runner-up Gahanna Lincoln (304), Pickerington Central (307) and Pickerington North (311), were powered by Grant Smeltzer. The sophomore’s 72 was good enough to tie him for first overall.
Other Liberty contributors included Andrew Blosser (76), Josh Steyer (77) and Caden Gallagher (78).
“I’m very proud of the guys for winning sectionals,” Liberty coach Ryan Snivley said. “On the back nine, I could feel the momentum shifting to favor our competition … but we had a couple players play the last two holes very well to pull out the win by a shot.
“We move on to next week, which will be the most challenging match of the year. There won’t be much room for mistakes at Apple Valley … our players are ready for the challenge.”
Olentangy was also in action, finishing sixth with a 325. Cameron Casto led the Braves with a 72, earning co-medalist honors and a well-deserved spot in the next round. Other Olentangy scorers included Bennett Zeitner (83), Ben Nash (84) and Garrett Leckrone (86).
Olentangy Orange finished second overall and Olentangy Berlin had a pair of individuals keep their seasons alive thanks to solid showings at Tuesday’s Division I sectional tournament at Denison Golf Club.
The Pioneers punched a ticket to the upcoming district showcase with a combined 308. Dublin Jerome was the only team to put together a better effort, finishing first with a 290.
Sophomore Corbin Bentley led Orange with a 74, firing a 38 on the front and a 36 on the back. Alex Cabungcal (76), Nathan Brown (78) and Jonathan Green (80) also chipped in.
Berlin and Delaware Hayes, meanwhile, tied for fifth — one spot away from district qualification — with identical rounds of 321. The Bears, though, will be represented at districts as Bryce Reed and Brady Casto earned spots as individuals.
Reed shot a 74, tied with Bentley for sixth overall. Casto wasn’t far behind, carding a 78 before winning a three-man playoff on the third hole to secure the fourth and final individual qualifying spot.
Hayes, which saw its solid season come to a close, was led by Mark Sulek’s 78. Brady Gazarek (79), Luke Gazarek (80) an Colin Bibler (84) also contributed.
Big Walnut finished eighth and Buckeye Valley closed 10th at the Division I sectional Tuesday at Darby Creek.
The Golden Eagles, who got a team-leading 78 from senior Zach Herbert, fired a combined 333. Kyle Williams (82), Austen Bennett (83) and Kenny Schneider (90) smoothed out the team’s top four.
The Barons, who carded a combined 336, were led by sophomore Connor Wright’s 82. Other BV scorers included Reese Cramer (83), Jevin Beard (83) and Mitchell Lucas (88).
Dublin Coffman won the sectional with a 300 while St. Charles (302), Westerville Central (311) and Upper Arlington (315) also advanced to the upcoming district tournament.