Eastview, Lakeville North tie for 5th in team competition
A back nine full of twists and turns produced an unusual three-way tie at the top of the state Class 3A boys golf standings – and gave Rosemount High School its first state champion.
The state high school boys golf tournament was first contested in 1928, and the girls tournament followed in 1977. Rosemount never had a state individual or team champion until last week, when senior Owen Rexing earned a co-championship at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids.
Rexing had rounds of 71 and 69 for a 4-under-par total of 140 in the 36-hole state tourney. Defending champion Nate Stevens of Northfield and Jack Wetzel of Edina finished at the same figure. The Minnesota State High School League does not play off ties in its golf tournaments, so the three are co-champions.
Rexing started the second round one stroke behind co-leaders Stevens and Wetzel, and his 69 the second day was the best round of the tournament. He had five birdies in the second round, including two on his final three holes.
As well as Rexing was playing in the second round, he came to the 18th hole two strokes behind Stevens, with Wetzel several groups behind. That made a birdie on the 390-yard par-4 all but mandatory, and even then it might not be enough. Rexing made a 15-foot putt for his birdie.
After that, it was out of his hands. One of the dominoes fell when Stevens lipped out a 4-foot par putt to finish tied with Rexing at 4 under. Wetzel, who was 5 under through 11 holes of his second round, had two bogeys and a birdie coming in to tie the clubhouse leaders.
The three co-champions are headed to Division I college programs – Rexing to St. Thomas, Stevens to Notre Dame and Wetzel to Minnesota.
Farmington junior Kyler Schwamb shot 73-74–147 to tie for 10th place. Eagan senior Hank Sogge tied for 24th with 73-78–151. Lakeville South senior Hogan Ordal tied for 29th with 77-75–152.
The two South Suburban Conference teams in the state tournament, Eastview and Lakeville North, tied for fifth place. Edina, the No. 1 team in the Minnesota Golf Association state rankings, rolled to an 11-stroke victory over Spring Lake Park.
Fifth place is the highest Lakeville North has finished in the boys team tournament. Eastview, ranked third by the MGA, isn’t complaining about a tie for fifth because, as coach Mark Wanous said, any trip to the state tournament is special.
“Overall, I think the kids felt they played pretty well,” Wanous said. “Individually, we had a couple that were hoping to do a little better. In the end, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. A tie for fifth is a good place to be.”
Eastview and Lakeville North both shot 619 team scores over 36 holes, with Eastview moving up one spot on the second day and Lakeville North dropping back after finishing the first day in third place, just six strokes out of the lead.
Gabe Tritschler (74), Joey Rohlwing (75) and Jack Hanson (76) led Eastview in the second round, with Tyler Wanous’ 81 also counting toward the team score. Rohlwing (74) and Christian Lillehaugen (78) had the Lightning’s best scores in the first round. Tyler Cords also played in Eastview’s state tournament lineup.
Rohlwing’s 149 total earned a tie for 14th place. Tritschler tied for 34th with 80-74–154 and Hanson tied for 44th at 81-76–157. Lillehaugen tied for 55th with 78-83–161. Tyler Wanous shot 82-81–163 to tie for 64th and Cords shot 85-84–169 to tie for 84th.
Tritschler and Lillehaugen are seniors. The rest will be back to take another shot at getting to the state tournament next year.
“It was a very good season,” said Mark Wanous, whose team was South Suburban Conference and Section 3 champion. “We won five tournaments and we competed with some of the best teams in the state. Hopefully this will rub off on the other guys in our program so they’ll be ready to step up and replace the two seniors in our lineup. You need four players, but it’s better to have five or six. There were a number of times this year when our fifth and sixth players shot scores that we counted.”
Eastview’s players are transitioning into their summer schedules. Hanson has qualified for next month’s Minnesota State Amateur. On Tuesday, a week after struggling in the state tournament, Tyler Wanous returned to Bunker Hills, shot 68 and won a local qualifier for the U.S. Junior Amateur. He will play in the national tournament next month at Bandon Dunes in Oregon.
Lakeville North’s Evan Raiche was tied for eighth at 72 after the first round of the state tournament and was two strokes out of the lead. He shot 77 in the second round to finish tied for 14th. Chase Camilli shot 73-78–151 to tie for 24th.
Nick Olson shot two rounds of 79 for a 158 total and a tie for 50th. Eric Wibbens had 80-81–161 to tie for 55th. Jack Sabetti shot 84-82–166 to tie for 75th and Ryan Young had 85-83–168 to tie for 81st.
Camilli and Olson were the only two seniors in the North lineup; the other four players are juniors.