Last year’s disappointment propels Spartans to state
Glenbrook North's Jae Lee carefully measures his putt attempt during the boys golf sectional tournament at the Winnetka Golf Course on Monday. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Jon Goldstein, senior
Nick Hardy, junior
Nick Jan, senior
Jae Lee, senior
Harrison Marick, senior
Brian Ohr, Glenbrook, junior
Michael Abrahamson, junior
Creighton Helms, senior
Peter Leinenweber, junior
Michael Hultquist, senior
Chris Nolan, junior
Colin O’Neill, senior
Nick Iserloth, freshman
Jack Junge, sophomore
Graham Kenter, senior
Austin Rendell, senior
Will Seaman, sophomore
Ian Wright, senior
Area at-large individuals
Nate Lee, Niles West junior
Evan TerMolen, Evanston junior
What: Class 3A boys state golf tournament
When: Friday, Saturday Oct. 12-13
Where: Den at Fox Creek Golf Course, Bloomington (par 72, 6,926 yards)
Last year’s team champ: Lake Forest
Last year’s individual champ: Joe Willis, Lake Forest
Updated: November 12, 2012 11:14AM
WINNETKA — Ever since the end of last season, all the Glenbrook North boys golf team wanted to do was get back to the sectional tournament and erase the memory from Hilldale Golf Club, where the Spartans finished fifth and failed to qualify for the state tournament.
Led by junior Nick Hardy’s 2-over 73, Glenbrook North shot 302 at Winnetka Golf Club to win the New Trier Sectional title Monday. The Spartans are back in Bloomington for the final weekend of the year for the first time since 2010 and the third time since 2006.
“I didn’t let last year enter my mind,” said Hardy, who tied for first with New Trier’s Jack Junge and Loyola’s Michael Hultquist. Junge earned medalist honors with a birdie on the first playoff hole. “I treated this like a normal round. We’ve been playing well, so I was feeding off of that.”
Hardy made three birdies against three bogeys and one double bogey.
“It was not an easy day to play,” said Hardy between the weather conditions and course setup. “It was easy to make a mistake out here and that could cost you. That made playing hard.”
Senior Nick Jan and junior Brian Ohr both were on that 2010 club with Hardy. Ohr followed Hardy with a 75, while Jan tied senior teammate Jon Goldstein with a 77.
“We learned a lot from last year,” Ohr said. “We were very upset, but it made us a better team. We didn’t get ahead of ourselves all year. We have stay focused.”
Nobody was happier for the boys than coach Justin Gerbich, who’s been with the team for its last three state appearances.
“These guys are battle-tested,” he said. “There was some pressure on us, but we are in a very different place than we were last year.”
Glenbrook North has never won a state championship in boys golf. The program’s best finish was third during the 1971-72 school year.
Trevian on top: New Trier’s future looks good, but that doesn’t mean the team isn’t playing for the present.
In his first sectional tournament, Junge, a sophomore, perhaps played the best round of his career. He stuck with a safe game plan on a difficult day, making one birdie and three bogeys.
“I was nervous, but I felt confident in my game,” Junge said.
Freshman Nick Iserloth also contributed to the team’s 306, which was good for second place. Iserloth, who played his first varsity tournament Sept. 1, toured the familiar course in 75 strokes.
“I was not thinking about the state tournament at the beginning of the year,” he said. “I was just hoping to make the varsity team.”
Senior Austin Rendell (77) and senior Ian Wright (81) also factored into the team’s scoring foursome.
Ramble on: Loyola returns to the Den at Fox Creek for the third season in a row, all under coach Tim Kane, after taking third with a 308.
The Ramblers got strong showings from headliners, junior Michael Abrahamson and Hultquist, a junior. Abrahamson was second on the team behind Hultquist with a 75.
“Not bad,” Abrahamson said. “Par was a good score out there.”
Senior Colin O’Neill and senior Creighton Helms also contributed. O’Neill, the team’s top finisher at the state tournament last season, shot an 80. Helms posted an 82.
“It was great to experience it last year,” said O’Neill, who tied for ninth in Bloomington. “It’s such a different atmosphere, so it’s good to know what to expect.”
Loyola’s won four state titles, the last coming in 2001.
Lone Wildkit: Evanston was hoping for a better day.
Junior Evan TerMolen shot a 79 and was the only player on the team to advance to the state tournament. The Wildkits finished fourth with 331.
Junior Jackson Mihevc narrowly missed out after posting an 81. He lost out advancing in a four-person playoff for the final spot. Mihevc was at the state tournament last season.
“The sectional is by far the most nerve-wracking tournament,” TerMolen said. “I think there’s probably more pressure here than at the state tournament.”