ARTICLE

Cedar Rapids Xavier earns fourth straight boys' state golf berth

Matthew Schmit becomes first Saints golfer to play in 4 state meets; Prairie, Linn-Mar also advance

Cedar Rapids Prairie's Payton Burns (from left), Xavier's Charlie Allen and Cedar Falls' Luke Meyer bump fists following
Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Payton Burns (from left), Xavier’s Charlie Allen and Cedar Falls’ Luke Meyer bump fists following the completion of their round on the eighteenth hole at a boys’ district golf meet at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Fore isn’t a term associated with cheer on a golf course.

Four, on the other hand, was a perfect reason to celebrate for Cedar Rapids Xavier.

The Saints earned their fourth straight state golf berth and helped senior Matthew Schmit become the school’s first four-time state participant with a runner-up finish at a Class 4A district meet Monday at Elmcrest Country Club.

Xavier tied Cedar Falls with 306, but the Tigers won the team title via tiebreaker with the best fifth-player score. Cedar Rapids Prairie was third with 314, earning the last team berth. Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Reid Hall shot 75 to qualify for the state meet Friday and Saturday at Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

“I am just thrilled,” Xavier Coach Tim O’Brien said. “It’s not only that for us, but seven of the last nine, which most of those years we’re probably a 3A-sized school. The boys have done a nice job.”

This marked the fourth time the Saints have hosted a district meet at Elmcrest and they have advanced each time. A strong wind made things a bit tougher, but the Saints managed the familiar course well. Charlie Allen led the way with 74, tying for third.

Schmit and his brother, Ryan Schmit, each shot 75. Freshman Quincey Johnson carded an 82 to round out the scores. Johnson, the team’s sixth golfer, drained a 20-foot birdie putt to cap his round and help tie Cedar Falls with the best team performance.

“Boy, did they come through today,” O’Brien said. “Those were some great scores. … It was an incredible day. I couldn’t ask for more.

“Shooting 74, 75, and 75 on this course today with this wind, and look at the other scores, it’s pretty salty.”

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Matthew Schmit has been a fixture in the Saints' starting lineup since he began his prep career. The all-Mississippi Valley Conference golfer recorded two birdies on the front nine and then closed with three straight pars. He realizes it is a special feat.

“We have had a lot of good Xavier golfers,” Schmit said. “To be the first to go to four (state tournaments), it really means a lot. We have a good team, so it will be fun to go to state.”

O’Brien said the Saints proved they can compete against the best teams in the state. The district finish provides a nice boost for this weekend.

“We have a lot of momentum after this district,” Schmit said. “It was pretty good. I think we have one of the best teams in the state. Hopefully, we have a chance to win it.”

The Hawks claimed the program’s second team state berth and the first since 2017. They edged Cedar Rapids Kennedy by two strokes. Prairie Coach Erik Columbus said the team has been close the last couple years, but just missed state.

“I’m happy for the boys,” Columbus said. “They worked so hard. It was good team golf.”

Payton Burns powered Prairie with 74. Freshman Tanner Wachtl shot 77. Carson Smith and Isaac Meyer came in at 80 and 83, respectively. Smith is the team’s No. 6 golfer and this was the second time he counted a score to help the team.

“Totally balanced,” Columbus said. “Each of those guys have been capable to step up and be the deciding factor any meet all year. They’re all solid.”

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Cedar Falls’ Owen Sawyer was medalist, shooting 1-over 71. Marshalltown’s Grant Greazel was runner-up with 73. Greazel also advances to state in the individual competition.

Linn-Mar advances to state

Linn-Mar also will head to the 4A state meet in Des Moines later this week. The Lions placed third at the district meet held at Glynns Creek Golf Course in Long Grove.

Linn-Mar shot 327, finishing six shots back of runner-up Dubuque Wahlert. Pleasant Valley won the team title with 316.

Linn-Mar state champion Dillon Burr was the runner-up medalist. He shot 76, while Drew Muilenburg had a 78. Carter Vieth and Caden Postma added an 83 and 90 for the Lions.

CLASS 4A DISTRICTS

At Elmcrest Country Club

(Par 70)

Teams — 1. Cedar Falls* 306, 2. C.R. Xavier* 306, 3. C.R. Prairie* 314, 4. C.R. Kennedy 316, 5. Marshalltown 326, 6. C.R. Washington 328, 7. Iowa City West 339, 8. Dubuque Senior 342, 9. C.R. Jefferson 343, 10. Waterloo West 346, 11. Dubuque Hempstead 350, 12. Iowa City High 378, 13. Clinton 406, 14. Waterloo East 448

Note: Cedar Falls won tiebreaker with better fifth person score.

Individuals — 1. Owen Sawyer (CF), 71, 2. Grant Greazel* (Mar) 73, 3. (tie) Payton Burns (CRP), Charlie Allen (CRX), 74, 5. (tie) Reid Hall* (CRK), Ryan Schmit (CRX), Matthew Schmit (CRX), 75

*-State qualifiers

C.R. XAVIER (306): Allen 74, R. Schmit 75, M. Schmit 75, Quincey Johnson 82

C.R. PRAIRIE (314): Burns 74, Tanner Wachtl 77, Carson Smith 80, Isaac Meyer 83

C.R. KENNEDY (316): Hall 75, Gannon Hall 80, Carter Vander Zee 80, Brady Shea 81, Simeon Jauhiainen 81

C.R. WASHINGTON (328): Kyle Neighbors 79, Andrew Freeman 82, Nile Petersen 83, Ben Blockinger 84

I.C. WEST (339): Brady Simcox 81, Caleb Kirk 85, Andrew Tauchen 86, Owen Larson 87

C.R. JEFFERSON (343): Logan Miller 82, Landon Augustine 82, Logan Augustine 86, Adam Panoch 93.

CITY HIGH (378): Cooper Kirshling 83, Arthur Hall 92, James Kriz 97, Jack Meis 106

At Long Grove

(Glynns Creek Golf Course, par 72)

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Teams — 1. Pleasant Valley* 316, 2. Dubuque Wahlert* 321, 3. Linn-Mar* 327, 4. North Scott 330, 5. Western Dubuque 331, 6. (tie) Davenport Assumption and Ottumwa 337, 8. Burlington 340, 9. Bettendorf 348, 10. DeWitt Central 350, 11. Davenport West 366, 12. Muscatine 369, 13. Davenport Central 393, 14. Davenport North 394,

Individuals — 1. Joe Hammer* (Ott), 74, 2. Dillon Burr (LM), 76, 3. Will Coohey (DW), 76, 4. Cale Leonard (Ott), 76, 5. Jack Dumas (PV), 77

*-State qualifiers

LINN-MAR (327): Burr 76, Drew Muilenburg 78, Carter Vieth 83, Caden Postma 90

At West Des Moines

(Willow Creek Golf Course, par 72)

Teams — 1. Waukee* 296, 2. Ankeny* 296, 3. Southeast Polk* 316, 4. Indianola 319, 5. West Des Moines Valley 326, 6. Urbandale 335, 7. Iowa City Liberty 342, 8. Norwalk 353, 9. Mason City 375

Individual state qualifiers — Jared Chmelka (WDM), Jackson Overton (Ind), Cooper Nailor (Ind)

Note: Waukee won tiebreaker.

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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