HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS -- To call the performance by Miami-Dade golfers at the state golf tournament overwhelmingly successful would be an overstatement. Interesting might be the proper description.
Ransom Everglades was the highest-finishing Dade team, taking 10th place of 16 teams in Class 1A.
What makes that interesting? The Raiders have three 10th graders and two 11th graders playing for them, and their top two finishers in the state meet that concluded Wednesday are both 10th graders — Carolina Garrett and Chloe Horton.
Making Garrett’s round particularly interesting was that she improved her first-day score by nine strokes with a 77 Wednesday to finish at a 19-over-par 163. Even more interesting was the fact that Garrett posted that score with a triple-bogey on 18 after enduring a long delay on the tee.
Horton shot an 81-88—169.
“Carolina had a rough time on the first day,” Ransom coach Scott Jones explained. “Then when she finished she had a nice self-talk, and the result was how she performed in the second round.”
Of the self-talk, Garrett said: “I told myself I wasn’t going to repeat another meltdown in the second round.”
As for the young team’s future, Garrett vowed, “We definitely will be back next year.”
Another young team from Dade that should be back at state next year is the Columbus boys. The Explorers were led by 11th grader Eddie Martinez (79-79—158) and 10th grader Julio Betancourt 81-77—158).
“It is an amazing experience for them,” coach Mike Marinelli said. “Next year we will compete, and that will be for the title.”
One of the youngest players in the state tournament was Carrollton seventh grader Tanya Eathakotti, who finished with scores of 90 and 88. One of the top boys’ efforts came in Class 1A as Gulliver Prep’s Anthony Infante, a stellar player throughout his high school career, put together rounds of 80 and 84.
BILL VAN SMITH
• Region 4-8A quarterfinal — Reagan d. American, 25-15, 25-11, 23-25, 25-20: Wednesday afternoon turned out to be another day of firsts for Reagan. Just two days after capturing their first-ever district championship beating Miami Beach, the Bison broke new ground again when they knocked off American on its home court in four sets.
The victory sends Reagan (12-5) to its first-ever regional semifinal where they will host Hialeah either on Monday or Wednesday.
“What’s amazing is … we lost eight seniors and really had a young inexperienced team this year,” coach Melissa Garcia said. “With so many new faces on the court that would normally spell for a chemistry problem, but give these girls credit.”
• Region 4-3A quarterfinal — Palmer Trinity d. Miami Country Day 25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 20-25, 15-10: What started out with what appeared to be a routine sweep and quick night for the Palmer Trinity girls volleyball team turned into anything but on Wednesday night.
What the Falcons did not count on was a gritty and determined Miami Country Day team that used its home gym with football players and soccer players noisily rooting them one and fed off the atmosphere to battle back from an 0-2 deficit for force a five-set, two-and-a-half hour marathon.
But the Spartans, perhaps having used up a ton of energy in fighting back to win the third and fourth sets, ran out of gas in the fifth as Palmer (19-5) prevailed and will now advance to take on Westminster Christian next week in a regional semifinal and a rematch of last week’s district championship.