116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Cedar Rapids Washington posted its best golf outing of the season.
The Warriors have good reason to be energized by it.
Washington swept top individual and team honors at the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Divisional on Monday at Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville. The Warriors fired their low round of the season, shooting 295 and defeating Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids Prairie by three strokes. Washington senior Nile Petersen claimed first place with 67.
“I thought we could be pretty good,” Washington Coach Dennis Goettel said. “We’re still 11th in the state. I think we’re going to move up, if we can keep playing like this.
“We beat the No. 1 (Cedar Falls) and No. 6 (Prairie) ranked teams in the state. That was quite an accomplishment. It was so exciting for our guys.”
The victory was Washington’s first in an 18-hole event, but it did win a quadrangular in August. The Warriors came in 16 shots below their average of 311.60. Winning the second of three divisional rounds was a valued achievement.
“It means a lot,” Petersen said. “We’ve been a good team all season. It was a super-big confidence booster for the last divisional and district.”
In addition to Petersen’s low round, the Warriors showed tremendous depth and balance. All six players would have scored for five of the other seven teams. Ben Blocklinger tied for fifth with a 72. Zack Brown and Luke Toms shot 78. Toms, who was a lineup change from the CRANDIC, which was also at Brown Deer, overcame a slow start. He was 7-over through four and played the last 14 even par.
“We got all six scores at 81 or better,” Goettel said. “We had six of the top 22 scores out of 54 golfers. Our division is very tough.”
Petersen leads the individual race, owning a two-stroke lead over Cedar Falls’ Owen Sawyer. The competition with Sawyer and others has powered him to 11-under par through the first two divisional rounds.
“I’m super excited,” said Petersen, a state runner-up in 2019. “I think we’re feeding off each other and pushing each other to shoot low scores. It’s been fun.”
Blocklinger is fourth overall. He has shot even par, opening with a 1-under at the MVC Super Meet to start the season.
“He’s playing great,” Goettel said. “That’s awesome.”
Blocklinger wasn’t thrilled with his round at the CRANDIC and immediately went to work to improve. He was crucial in Washington’s performance.
“He’s a really hard worker,” Goettel said. “He had a tough time the previous day we were at Brown Deer.
“He came back to Cedar Rapids and practiced on his own for three hours. It is just the kind of kid he is. He puts in lots of time and he’s a long hitter. He’s a pretty darn good golfer.”
Brown played his fourth round of the year, breaking 80 each time.
“A big addition to the lineup has been Zack Brown,” Goettel said. “He’s playing great as a senior.
“He brings really good play, but he’s also really mature. I think he helps settle everyone else down.”
Washington returns to action Monday with its Senior Day at Gardner Golf Course.