116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Postseason paths have been determined.
Teams know the route they have to take to arrive at the Class 4A boys’ state golf meet at Elmcrest Country Club.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association released the assignments for district competition set for Oct. 3-4. Western Dubuque is the lone Gazette area team to host, while all Metro and Iowa City teams hit the road for qualifying rounds. The top three teams in each advance to state Oct. 7-8.
“You can try to pick it apart any way,” Liberty coach Brian Wernimont said. “I think they did pretty well.”
The Lightning and host Bobcats join top-ranked Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Prairie, DeWitt Central, Dubuque Hempstead, Dubuque Senior, No. 15 Dubuque Wahlert, Iowa City High, No. 13 Linn-Mar, Mason City and Waterloo East and West.
The Tigers are the only top-10 in the field, but it includes seven of the top-20 ranked programs, including the No. 11 Hawks, who are vying for a third straight state berth.
“It’s pretty much a (Mississippi Valley Conference) super meet with defending state champs Cedar Falls as the favorite,” Prairie Coach Erik Columbus said. “After them, it comes down to who brings their A-game on the day. We like to think we’re in the mix.”
The 16th-ranked Lightning have played well this season and are contenders for the program’s first state berth. They are part of the cluster outside of the top-10 that will vie for the final two berths.
“It’s going to be a real dog fight,” Liberty Coach Brian Wernimont said. “We’re right in the mix.
“The competition where we’re at is fierce.”
Wernimont said players realize the opportunity that awaits. He has watched the Lightning put in extra work, practicing and hitting balls before school. Timing is everything and peaking for the district meet is key to advancing.
“The desire and skill is there,” Wernimont said. “Come district time, you have to put pencil to paper with the right numbers on it.”
Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Xavier and Iowa City West will compete at Glynn’s Creek Golf Course in Long Grove. The Saints are ranked fifth, while Pleasant Valley is seventh and Southeast Polk is ninth. North Scott, the Warriors, Trojans and Bettendorf are among other contenders in the field.
“Our mission was to get a good pairing because they were waiting to see how teams have played,” Xavier Coach Tim O’Brien said. “I like that idea. I think it’s fair.”
O’Brien said the Saints’ play resulted in a good drawing. They have steadily improved since being ranked 12th early in the season. There is a little added incentive for Metro teams to be able to play at state in their own backyard.
“We don’t want the guys to be forecaddies for state,” O’Brien said. “We don’t want to just go down and just be there (at district). We want to win it.”
Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln and West Des Moines Dowling will host the other sites.
Ben Blockinger finishes atop MVC Valley divisional
Cedar Rapids Washington’s Ben Blocklinger finished in a four-way tie atop the individual race at the MVC Valley Division meet last week at Thunder Hills. He carded a 74, matching Linn-Mar’s Caden Postma and Matthew Buse and Kennedy’s Reid Hall. According to meet officials, Blocklinger was medalist on a card-back tiebreaker, while Postma was the runner-up medalist.
Blocklinger scored a birdie on the par-5 second hole and eight pars on the back. He moved within first-team all-conference consideration with one round left to play.
“He played well,” Washington Coach Dennis Goettel said. “It’s really big for him.
“He’s had an up-and-down year, but when he’s been on he’s been great.”
Linn-Mar won the team race with 310, topping Western Dubuque by three. Christian Cloyd shot 80, while Carter Bond and Alex Johnson each had 82 to round out the Lions’ team total. Kennedy was third with 315.
The MVC Valley will hold its final divisional round Monday at Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Iowa City. The last round of MVC Mississippi play will be Monday at Ellis Golf Course.
Ryan Schmit sets record
Xavier’s Ryan Schmit set a school nine-hole record Monday, shooting 6-under 29 at Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course. He topped teammate Charlie Allen, who shot 3-under, for medalist honors.
“It was insane,” O’Brien said. “I watched him birdie four straight holes.”
Schmit carded an eagle on the par-5 third hole. He birdied the next hole and managed pars on the other three, including one on the final hole where competitive golfers were pulling as he left a 25-foot putt just short for 28.
The Saints senior owns the state’s lowest nine-hole round and is third behind Cedar Falls’ Max Tjoa and Allen for best nine-hole adjusted average. Schmit ranks 15th overall and second in the Metro with a 37.37 combined adjusted average, trailing Prairie’s Tanner Wachtl.
O’Brien said the round is indicative of Schmit’s strong season.
“He’s been playing under par,” O’Brien said. “He’s been able to sustain it and there’s no backing off.”