Notebook: SM East golfers lead after first round of Sunflower League Championships

04/11/2014 12:00 AM

04/10/2014 5:16 PM

After losing four seniors, including two Division I golfers from last year’s team, Shawnee Mission East boys golf coach Ermanno Ritschl was not sure what to expect from this year’s squad.

However, the Lancers seem to be adjusting well. They had three golfers tie for first place and finished first as a team on Monday in the Shawnee Mission Northwest Invitational at Lake Quivira, which also serves as the first round of the Sunflower League Championships tournament.

“I wasn’t sure how the kids would respond, but it was a pleasant surprise that they came through,” Ritschl said. “I thought they would do well, but I didn’t know if they could do that well.”

The Lancers were led by Johnnie Norton, John Sallaz and Lucas Jones. All three golfers tied for first with a score of 76. Worth Blackman added an eighth-place finish in the first of three events that make up the league tournament.

Olathe East placed second with a score of 324, trailing SM East by 16 strokes. Olathe East was led by Christian Sheppard, who shot a 79 — good for sixth place. Olathe East’s Zach Spencer and Carson Scott tied for ninth place with an 81.

“It gives them a lot of confidence and that really helps,” Olathe East coach Kathy Lilley said. “Shawnee Mission East has traditionally been the team to beat,so they started out really well.”

As for the remaining two rounds of the Sunflower League Championships, the second round will be May 5 at the Olathe North tournament and the final round on May 14 at the Lawrence tournament.

SM South Relays

Fueled by first-place finishes from Bailee Cofer in the 800-meter run and Haley Dietsch in the 1,600-meter run, the St. Thomas Aquinas girls track team won last week’s Shawnee Mission South Relays with a score of 116 points.

On the boys side, it was Shawnee Mission West in the top spot with 118 points. The Vikings were led by Mitch Wade, who won the high jump and relay titles in the 4 x 100 and 4 x400 relays.

MIAA golf award

Olathe East graduate Alex Springer was selectede the MIAA Men’s Golf Athlete of the Week after a second-place finish for the University of Central Missouri at the Dallas Baptist Classic.

He shot an even-par 213, with a low round of 69 in leading the sixth-ranked Mules to a second-place finish.

MIAA track and field

Olathe North graduate Mary Riley, who won the javelin throw at the Emporia State Relays with a personal record and provisional mark of 163 feet, 5 inches, was selected the MIAA Women’s Field Athlete of the Week.

A senior at the University of Central Missouri, Riley’s throw is the third best distance this season in NCAA Division II ranks.

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