Midcoast golfers take swings in state individual championshipsWickenden, Mazurek, Starbird shoot in 80s for 18 holes
Vassalboro — While no Midcoast high school golfer brought home the coveted hardware, many talented student-athletes from Knox and Waldo counties were in action on the links Saturday, Oct. 13 at the state individual schoolboy and schoolgirl championships on Natanis Golf Course.
Having won the right to compete through a recent qualifier, seven local golfers braved the cold, blustery elements Saturday in search of elusive state titles in Class A, B and C.
Class A and Class B athletes vied for the state title on the Tomahawk course, while the Class C and schoolgirl players teed off for their respective state crowns on the Arrowhead course.
In Class A, Oceanside freshman Nick Mazurek shot 85 for 18 holes to tie for 16th overall. Mike Caron of Gorham won the state Class A title with a 75.
"He played very good," said Oceanside coach Keenan Flanagan of Mazurek. "He had one bad hole where he five-putted, but he did pretty good. He was nervous. It's a little different when you play at something like that and the flag goes up as they say."
Flanagan said the course was "windy, cold and the greens were really fast."
"He's going to do fine the next three years," the coach said. "He did very well and he should be proud of himself."
In Class B, Camden Hills sophomore Daulton Wickenden shot 80 for 18 holes, tying for sixth, while freshman teammate Julian Starbird fired 88 to tie for 19th.
Windjammer coach Mark Wallace said Wickenden "actually played better than his score looks." After getting a quadruple-bogey on his fourth hole, the Windjammer "just sort of maintained" throughout the rest of his outing, the coach said.
"It was a microcosm of [Wickenden's] entire year," said Wallace. "Everything was close, but nothing just really there. A little long [here], a little short [there], putts over the edge [of the hole]. He just couldn't get it going over a period of time."
Wallace said he also was proud of the effort of Starbird, who one year ago was competing in the Busline League middle school championships.
"The kid just battled," said Wallace of Starbird. "He knew he didn't have it and he kept going. The first thing I told him when we got done was, 'I know you're not happy with your score but I was really proud of how [you] played the round.' He made the school proud. Sometimes you get in a bad situation and you just want to break a couple clubs over a tree and he was just focused."
Belfast senior Tim Sticht (95) tied for 27th, while Mount View freshman Austin Higgins (96) tied for 29th in Class B.
"I thought Tim Sticht shot decent at states considering he missed half the season to illness," said Lion coach Chuck Lagerbom. "He only got medically cleared to play the day before the state qualifier. As he is a senior and four-year letter earner, I was happy that he had one more chance to compete at the state individual championship level."
Mount View coach Craig Tozier spoke with Higgins before the event and said, "He seemed relaxed, and said that he didn't feel a lot of pressure."
Despite Higgins' higher than expected score, he has a bright future on the links the next few years, the coach said, as the youngster sported a 6-3 record during the regular season in addition to qualifying for the state championships.
"I know he was happy to have qualified, and to have the experience of playing against the best high school golfers in the state," said coach Tozier.
Reese McFarlane of Cape Elizabeth won the Class B title with a 74.
In Class C, Searsport senior Alex Carroll fired 92 to tie for 25th. Deer Isle-Stonington's Sam Grindle won the individual title with an impressive 68.
"Alex did good [but] not what he'd expected," said Searsport coach Rudy Carroll. "He can do a lot better, he just got into some trouble early with the wind and stuff like that."
In the schoolgirl championships, Searsport sophomore Rica Barloso shot a 112 to tie for 29th. Bangor's Alice Hwang won the championship with 84.
Coach Carroll said he was impressed with Barloso given the fact she only recently picked up the sport.
"She just started playing last year and she did really well in the first time she'd been to Arrowhead," said Carroll. "And being a sophomore and given that the other lady golfers she was shooting with have been playing five or six years, it gave her some real competition."
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