Palmetto’s girls’ and boys’ golf teams were victorious at the District 24-2A finals Monday and advanced to regionals next week.
It comes as no surprise for the program whose boys’ team has made state every year since 2005 and girls’ team last missed the state tournament before the turn of the millennium.
Winning the district to reach regionals is a mere steppingstone on the path to the greater goal.
The boys beat a field of seven schools, edging out runner-up Belen by nine strokes with a team score of 310 at the par-72 Redlands Golf Course. The girls bested Coral Reef and Lourdes with a 386 at Palmetto Golf Course (par 73).
Both teams also featured the top individual golfers in their respective fields.
Russ Mercer repeated as the low individual scorer of the boys’ district championship, shooting a 3-over-par 75 — as he did last year on the same course.
“I started well,” said Mercer, who wasn’t thrilled because he shot last year’s score in the rain and didn’t top it in better weather Monday. “I chipped in on the first hole, and I got some putts in early. … I was hitting it good all day.”
Gabriella Montes led all girls with an 84.
“My short game really helped me — my chipping and my putting,” she said. “That’s what saved me on the front nine and made my game a lot stronger.”
Montes ran into some trouble on the back nine, hitting into the water on the 14th hole, but she bounced back on the last four holes, including a birdie on the par-3 17th.
Now the Panthers focus on reaching states once again with regionals Monday. The boys’ tournament will be played at Hillcrest and the girls’ at Bonaventure Country Club.
“I think we’ll do well,” Montes said. “They put a bunch of new schools [St. Thomas Aquinas and Cypress Bay] in our region, so it’s going to be a tough competition, but I think everybody’s been playing really well. I think we have a good shot.”
Belen and Coral Reef were the other two schools to advance in boys’ play. The top three individuals outside of those schools also advance into regional play. Those were South Miami’s Christopher Dupont, South Dade’s Kevin Perham and Killian’s Omar Mujahid.
All three girls’ teams that participated Monday (Palmetto, Coral Reef and Lourdes) automatically advanced as they were the only schools to play enough golfers to register team scores. Others advancing are Braddock’s Monique Enriquez, Ferguson’s Diana Sanchez and South Miami’s Kristen Perez.
• BOYS’ RESULTS – Palmetto 310, Belen 319, Coral Reef 340, Killian 373, South Dade 383, South Miami 390, Sunset 495 (at Redlands GC par 72): Russ Mercer (PAL) 75, Oscar Cabanas (BEL) 77, Guillermo Saade (BEL) 77, Mike Carter (PAL) 77, Matt Martinez (PAL) 79, Daniel Ledbetter (PAL) 79, Christopher Dupont (SM) 79, Kevin Perham (SD) 81, Julio Corona (CR) 82, Joaquin Trigueros (BEL) 82, David Castano (PAL) 82, Daniel Perez (BEL) 83.
GIRLS’ RESULTS – Palmetto 386, Coral Reef 402, Lourdes 503 (at Palmetto GC par 73): Gabriella Montes (PAL) 84, Lauren Eustace (CR) 88, Molly Barlow (PAL) 88, Chin-Sang Jasleen (PAL) 95, Leia Schwartz (CR) 99, Krystal Farinas (CR) 101, Monique Enriquez (BRA) 111, Ximena Corona (CR) 114, Nathalia Dondo (LOU) 116, Danielle Bouchard (PAL) 119.
Winning a district championship has become quite routine over the years for the Columbus boys’ golf team, and Monday afternoon’s District 23-2A tournament at Miami Springs Country Club was no exception.
Although the Explorers scored a little higher than they are used to, the final total of 310 was more than enough to once again win the title easily, 16 shots ahead of runner-up Miami Springs.
The Golden Hawks, led by medalist Pat Perez’s 2-over 73, finished at 326, and Coral Gables came in third at 357. All three teams advance to next week’s regional tournament at Hillcrest Country Club in Hollywood.
“We weren’t at our sharpest [Monday], but it was good enough to get the job done,” said Columbus coach Mike Marinelli. “We’ll need to put up a better score at regionals next week if we want to make it to state.”
And making it to state, something Columbus used to do routinely, has not happened since 2009.
“I’ve been on the team the last two years, and we’ve come up short at regionals, so we definitely want to change that,” said Columbus’ Eddie Martinez who fired a 7-over 78. “We played Hillcrest in a tournament last week and scored well, so we’ll be confident going in.”
Martinez’s teammates, Juan Yumar (77), Francisco De la Torre (77) and Julio Betancourt (78) rounded out Columbus’ team score. The top three individual scores outside of the three team qualifiers went to Tyler Sloman of Krop (76), Beau Clavijo of Miami Beach (79) and Miami High’s Jonathan Rodriguez, who tied with Marcos Montesano of Reagan with an 80 and won on the first playoff hole.
“The crazy part about my round [Monday] is that as good as it was, I left at least five or six shots out there,” Perez said. “I came in feeling if I broke 75 I’d be happy, but when you take 33 putts in a round, it means you didn’t putt well and you feel a little frustrated. Obviously, my ball-striking was on (Perez hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation) so that was the upside.”
On the girls’ side, none of the teams met the minimum requirement of four players, so as a result, there were only three individual qualifiers. Ester Tothova of Coral Gables took medalist honors with an 88 and was followed by Jiana Biaha of Miami Beach (107) and Yanfang Ao of Miami High (108) for second and third place.
• BOYS’ RESULTS – Columbus 310, Miami Springs 326, Coral Gables 357, Miami Beach 370, Reagan 373, Hialeah Gardens 376, Coral Park 459, Mourning 524 (at Miami Springs CC par 71): Pat Perez (MS) 73, Tyler Sloman (KR) 76, Juan Yumar (COL) 77, Francisco De la Torre (COL) 77, Eddie Martinez (COL) 78, Julio Betancourt (COL) 78, Beau Clavijo (MB) 79, Christian Melendez (COL) 80, Jonathan Rodriguez (MH) 80, Marcos Montesano (RR) 80.
• GIRLS’ RESULTS – Individuals: Ester Tothova (CG) 88, Jiana Biaha (MB) 107, Yanfang Ao (MH) 108, Tyler Robinson (AM) 115, Shaylah Culler (MS) 118, Mariana Rohrcheib (RR) 123.
• Mourning d. Edison 25-10, 25-12, 25-10: Savannah Duffy 9 kills. Stella Azerot 7 kills, 7 aces. Molly Yao 4 aces, 16 assists. ATM 14-3.
• Palmer Trinity d. Mater Academy 25-15, 25-15, 25-20: Barbara Lopez 14 kills, 6 aces, 35 assists. Danielle Littke 8 kills, 2 blocks, 32 assists. Ellie Nosich 5 kills, 5 blocks, 11 digs. PT 16-4.
• Hillel d. Hebrew Academy 25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 23-25, 15-9: Sarah Fiske 3 aces. Dana Sadovnic 2 aces, 4 kills. Sophia Brener 2 aces, 4 kills. Nikki Scheck 2 kills. HIL 3-4.
• Saint Brendan d. Archbishop Curley 25-23, 25-10, 25-18: Tamara Araujo 9 kills, 4 aces, 4 digs. Kasey Garcia 6 kills, 4 aces. Kaitlyn Bello 6 kills, 4 blocks. STB 13-7.
• La Salle d. Coral Shores 25-15, 25-11, 25-14: Erica Stoodley 8 kills, 11 digs, 5 aces. Alexia Hiddleman 9 kills, 3 digs. Maria Cuesta 4 kills, 11 digs, 8 aces. Jackie Urtiaga 6 digs. LAS 13-6.
Late Saturday – La Salle d Pace 25-15, 25-22 (at Florida Christian Invitational): Erica Stoodley 4 aces, 6 kills, 2 digs. Maria Cuesta 3 aces, 4 kills, 5 digs. Christina Averhoff 19 assists, 5 digs. LAS 11-6.
• Late Saturday – La Salle d. Archbishop Curley 23-25, 25-11, 15-10 (at Florida Christian Invitational): Maria Cuesta 8 aces, 12 kills, 14 digs. Camilla Latimer 7 kills, 2 blocks, 6 digs. Erica Stoodley 6 kills, 2 blocks, 6 digs. LAS 12-6.
• Late Saturday – Mater Academy d. Rockledge 17-25, 25-23, 15-6: Kourtney Lesperance 7 kills, 6 digs. Sierra Perry 8 kills, 4 digs. Krystal Canellas 19 assists, 3 aces. MA 13-3.
• Late Saturday – Middleburg High d. Mater Academy 19-25, 20-25. MA 13-4.
• Late Saturday – Mater Academy d. Orlando Lake Nona 19-25, 25-13, 15-10: Kourtney Lesperance 12 kills, 2 aces. Sierra Perry 6 kills, 3 blocks. Alexa Sinche 16 points, 6 aces, 2 kills. MA 14-4.
• Late Friday – Southwest d. Gulliver 33-31, 25-21, 10-25, 25-20: Sheyanne Sullivan 16 kills, 19 digs. Denise Rodriguez 11 kills, 8 digs. Millany Camilo 8 kills 4 blocks. Massiel Castillo 36 assists, 10 digs. SW 15-7.
• Late Friday – Mater Academy d. Delray American Heritage 14-25, 25-20, 15-12: Kourtney Lesperance 9 kills, 3 digs. Krystal Canellas 18 assists, 3 aces. Sheila Rojas 4 kills, 9 digs. MA 12-2.
• Late Friday – Orange City University High d. Mater Academy 16-25, 11-25. MA 12-3.
• South Dade 123, South Miami 75: For SD: 100 free: Ishmail Azimulla 57.34. 200 free: James Holland 2:25.74. 200 IM: John Cannon 2:34.76. 100 fly: John Worthley 1:03.39. SD 5-0.
• South Dade 124, South Miami 65: For SD: 100 breast: Danielle Tuzio 1:23.19. 200 IM: Lindsey Cannon 2:50.07. 500 free: Kristen Haughton James 8:08.13. 100 fly: Carole Martino 1:13.74. 100 free: Briana Miranda 1:11.7. SD 4-1.
GMAC championship at Coral Reef - Quarterfinals: Hialeah vs. Coral Reef, 2; Miami Beach vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes, 2; Ferguson vs. Mourning, 3:30; Palmetto vs. Westland Hialeah, 3:30; Semifinals: Hialeah-Coral Reef winner vs. Ferguson-Mourning winner, 5; Miami Beach-HML winner vs. Palmetto-Westland winner, 5; Final: 7.
Marathon at Florida Christian, 6
Somerset Academy at Archbishop Curley, 4
South Miami at Central, 5
Hollywood Christian at Dade Christian, 4:30
Archemedian at Divine Savior, 7
Colonial Christian at Keys Gate, 4
Homestead at Edison, 5:30
Carrollton at Miami Country Day, 5:30
Goleman at Monsignor Pace, 3:30
Gulliver Prep at Palmer Trinity, 5:30
Hialeah Educational Academy vs. Doctors Charter (Pepper Park), 3:30
Greater Miami Academy at Princeton Christian, 5:30
Booker T. Washington at South Dade, 5
International Studies at Mater Lakes, 5
TERRA at Varela, 5
Pine Crest at Westminster Christian, 5:30
Hillel at Yeshiva, 6
Booker T. vs. Westland (Amelia Earhart), 4
Hialeah Gardens, HML, Braddock, Mourning vs. Krop (Ives Estates), 3:30
Doctors Charter, Calvary Christian, Coral Springs Christian, Archbishop Curley vs. Miami Country Day (Greynolds), 4
Hialeah-Miami Lakes at MAST, 3:30
Westland vs. North Miami (Westland Gardens), 3
Varela vs. Southwest (Tamiami), 3:30
South Dade vs. Braddock (Tamiami), 5
Miami High vs. NMB (Victory Pool), 3:30
Hialeah vs. Hialeah Gardens (Westland Gardens), 1:30
District 23-1A at Grand Palms: 8 a.m.
District 24-1A at Biltmore: 8 a.m.
Coral Park vs. Southwest (Bird Bowl), 3
South Dade vs. South Miami (Bird Bowl), 3
Coral Reef vs. Braddock (Bird Bowl), 3
Columbus vs. Miami Palmetto (Bird Bowl), 3
Ferguson vs. Sunset (Bird Bowl), 3
TERRA vs. Killian (Bird Bowl), 3
Hialeah Grdns vs. N. Miami (AMF Pem. Pines), 3
Mourning vs. American (AMF Pem. Pines), 3
Miami High vs. Reagan (AMF Pem. Pines), 3
Goleman vs. HML (AMF Pem. Pines), 3
Miami Beach vs. Krop (AMF Pem. Pines), 3
Hialeah at Goleman, 5
Pace at Greater Miami Academy, 3:30
Doctors Charter at Hebrew Academy, 7:30
Goleman vs. Krop (MAR JCC), 6:30
Carol City vs. Central (Traz), 7
Killian vs. Coral Reef (Southridge), 4
Ferguson vs. Braddock (Tropical), 7
Goleman vs. Miami Beach (N. Miami), 7
Mourning vs. Westland (Milander), 3:30
Hialeah Gardens vs. Reagan (Milander), 7
Coral Park vs. Miami High (Curtis), 7
Hillel at WPB Berean Christian, 4
Mater Lakes at Doral Academy, noon
Varela at TERRA (Braddock), 5
TERRA vs. Braddock (Braddock), 3:30
Varela vs. Braddock (Braddock), 6
Hialeah Gardens at Goleman, 5
St. Brendan at La Salle, 5
MAST at Miami Beach, 5
International Studies at Miami High, 5
HML at Monsignor Pace,3:30
Mater Academy at Palmer Trinity, 5:30
Homestead at South Dade, 7
Pace at Miami Country Day (MCD), 4:30
TERRA vs. HML (Dade Kendall), 3:30
Southwest, South Miami vs. Braddock (Tamiami), 4