Joco Sports

SM East, St. Thomas Aquinas win boys golf state titles

Shawnee Mission East High School golfer Andy Spencer, seen here at the SM Northwest Invitational in April, finished second on Monday at the Kansas Class 6A state tournament in Manhattan.
Shawnee Mission East High School golfer Andy Spencer, seen here at the SM Northwest Invitational in April, finished second on Monday at the Kansas Class 6A state tournament in Manhattan. skeyser@kcstar.com

The scorecard showed only one blunder on Monday, a double bogey on the seventh hole that slid Shawnee Mission East High School senior Andy Spencer down the leader board at the Kansas Class 6A boys golf state tournament.

But just as he had done the last couple of years, Spencer bounced back. He mixed a couple of birdies into a mistake-free back nine, finishing his round at even par at Manhattan Country Club.

It might not have been good enough to defend his Class 6A crown — he settled for second place — but it was good enough to lead Shawnee Mission East to the team championship, the fifth in the last nine years.

Washburn Rural sophomore Parker Beal won the individual tournament with a 2-under 68.

“It’s awesome to go out like this,” Spencer said. “We went out early and posted a really good number and just waited around to watch everyone else. We knew it would be a tough number to beat.”

The Lancers totaled a team score of 295, an 8-shot cushion over second-place Washburn Rural. That gave SM East coach Ermanno Ritschl a first-place trophy in his last season coaching the boys program.

Blue Valley North was third at 310, followed by Shawnee Mission Northwest at 311.

On the individual leader board, Blue Valley senior Griffin Mott placed third after posting a 71. Shawnee Mission East sophomore Thomas Luger took fourth with a 72.

Class 5A

St. Thomas Aquinas, composed of mostly freshmen and sophomores with one senior, maintained its poise through a three-hour rain delay and posted an 8-stroke victory in the Kansas Class 5A boys golf state tournament on Monday at Emporia Municipal Golf Course.

Sophomore Jack Seiler shot a 1-over 72 and finished second to Maize South’s Wells Padgett, who shot a 69.

Seiler said he rode a wave of good play, which gave him confidence coming in.

“I’ve been coming in good for the team before, but this was the first time I’ve been the leading scorer,” he said. “It feels good.”

Sophomore Andrew Cunningham shot a 74 for Aquinas, and senior Ben VanPelt had a 75. Junior Jared Loomis shot a 78, giving Aquinas four golfers in the top 20.

Blue Valley Southwest finished third among teams with a 311.

Wichita Eagle correspondent Lionel Tipton contributed to this report.

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