Staudt, Rice tie for Ches-Mont golf title

EAST BRANDYWINE >> It was a day of firsts at the Ches-Mont Golf Championships on Tuesday at Applecross Country Club.
Balanced Unionville captured the team title for the first time, and Coatesville’s Sammie Staudt became the first girl in history to earn a share of the overall medalist honors. A senior, Staudt fired an even-par 72 win the girls individual crown for the second year in a row.
“It feels amazing,” said Staudt, when asked about finishing first in a field of nearly 100 boys. “It’s kind of crazy. No one would expect a girl to do that.”
Also a senior, Great Valley’s Geoff Rice parlayed a strong finish into his first boys title with a 72, which was two shots clear of the nearest challenger. Staudt’s and Rice’s score was all the more impressive when you consider that the round was played amidst windy conditions on slick greens.
It’s probably the reason, however, that for the first time in memory, the Ches-Mont was unable to fill all of its allotted 25 spots for district play, which will be held early next week at Turtle Creek Golf Club. Golfers had to score at least an 86 to qualify.
“(Staudt) is very good and she is an Applecross member like I am,” said Rice, who birdied the final three holes. “I think that familiarity gave us a bit of an advantage.”
A year after settling for the runner-up position, and just one day after suffering its first dual meet setback of the season, Unionville cruised to a 12-shot team victory over second-place Great Valley. All of the Indians top six scorers shot 87 or better.
“It’s our first (Ches-Mont Championship),” said veteran head coach Greg Kanaskie, who also coached for many years at West Chester Henderson. “We’ve won the division two times in the last three years. But this year we managed to climb that hurdle. What we did today was bunch our scores, which has been the secret of our success all season.”
Senior Parker Wine led the way with a 79 to wrap up quite an insanely busy 24-hour stretch that included three separate competitive events: Monday afternoon’s tough 198-199 loss to Kennett, a 5-2 ice hockey victory over West Chester Henderson in the evening, followed by the league crown on Tuesday.
“(Monday) we were at the bottom of the roller coaster and now we are on the top,” Kanaskie said.
“It was a lot,” admitted Wine, who plays center for Unionville. “It was not fun to hear that we lost to Kennett by a stroke, but this makes up for it. We won our hockey game, at least. I got there halfway through the second period.”
Staudt got off to a blistering start with birdies at Nos. 5, 6 and 9 to get to 3-under-par at the turn. She struggled a bit the rest of the way, but made a big 10-foot bogey-saving putt at the 16th, which wound up being enough to grab a share of medalist honors, and complete a 14-stroke win in the girls competition.
“When I play against better competition I generally play better and that’s what I did,” Staudt explained. “This definitely boosts my confidence. My goal to finish in the top three at states.”
Rice was cruising along at even-par, but suffered a bogey and a double-bogey at Nos. 14 and 15. He later admitted that he thought that bad stretch had taken him out of contention, but Rice rebounded immediately with a tap-in birdie at 16. Rejuvenated, he stuck a 9-iron to within three feet for birdie at 17, and then completed the comeback with a 2-putt birdie at the 534-yard par-5 finishing hole.
“The guys I was playing with – (Kennett’s) Evan Brown and (Bishop Shanahan’s) Ryan Conners — were ahead of me with two holes left, and I finished strong,” Rice said. “I am a senior so it’s good to go out like this.”
Brown (74) finished second and Conners (75) was third.
With the team victory, Unionville wrapped up the Ches-Mont American Division crown even though the squad still has two more dual meets to play. A year ago, the Indians carded a team score of 383 – 26 strokes lower than Monday’s tally – but still ended up in second place, 15 shots behind victorious Downingtown East.
“Last year we played much better and came up 15 shots short. It is shocking how the tides have turned,” Wine pointed out.
“We feel real good to win it for (Kanaskie),” added Gianelos. “He’s been at it for a while.”
The race for the National Division is still up for grabs. Downingtown East is 9-1 in dual meets, but finished fifth on Tuesday. The winner in each division qualifies for the District 1 Team Tournament, plus a third wildcard.

Ches-Mont Golf Championship
at Applecross CC, 18-holes, par 72
Team Totals
1. Unionville 409; 2. Great Valley 421; 3. Bishop Shanahan 422; 4. Kennett 424; 5. Downingtown East 425; 6. W.C. Henderson 445; 7. Avon Grove 451; 8. W.C. Rustin 453; 9. W.C. East 453; 10. Downingtown West 463; 11. Oxford 480; 12. Coatesville 480; 13. Octorara 523.
Boys District Qualifiers
1. Rice (GV) 72; 2. Brown (K) 74; 3. Conners (BS) 75; 4. Montgomery (DE) 78; 5. Wine (U) 79, Robinson (DW) 79; 7. Kline (U) 80; 8. GIanelos (U) 81; 9. Smith (WCE) 82; 10. Ward (GV) 83, Marrollo (DE) 83; 12. Dillon (U) 84, Wagner (WCR) 84; 14. Herzog (DE) 85, McNamera (AG) 85, Rayne (U) 85; 17. Gaver (K) 86, Sterlacci (BS) 86, Teeter (WCH) 86, Eberle (K) 86, Clark (WCH) 86, Chalupa (AG) 86.
Girls District Qualifiers
1. Staudt (C) 72; 2. Lizzo (BS) 86; 3. Evanko (U) 87; 4. Jacobs (WCH) 89; 5. Amoroso (WCE) 91; 6. Naples (WCE) 93; 7. Hickey (DW) 95; 8. McGrinder (DW) 96.

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