Members of the Wellington School boys golf team couldn't mask their disappointment after falling short in their quest to repeat as Division III state champions.
The Jaguars, who returned their entire lineup from a year ago when they captured their first state title, shot a 651 over 36 holes Oct. 12 and 13 at NorthStar to finish second behind Ashland Crestview (646).
Last season, Wellington shot a 674 at state on Ohio State's Scarlet Course, ahead of runner-up Lima Central Catholic (685).
"It's hard to take a step backward, especially when you feel like you didn't live up to your potential," coach Craig Mosier said. "We were all very emotional after we didn't reach our ultimate goal, but (Head of School Rob Brisk) reminded me that almost every other team in the state would love to finish second in the state tournament and he reminded me that it's really a remarkable accomplishment.
"There isn't anything that's going to completely take the sting out of coming so close and falling short. But eventually I think we're going to see this as the special achievement that it is, because second in the state really should be viewed as a great finish."
Senior Quinten Henricks and sophomore Justin Perdue each shot a 159 to tie for ninth and earn second-team all-state honors.
Also competing were senior Jon Taylor (166, tied for 28th), freshman Princeton Ball (167, tied for 31st) and senior Alex Schilling (176, tied for 48th).
"I played pretty well the second day," said Henricks, who shot an 80 in the first round and a 79 in the second. "I didn't make any double (bogeys). Anything under 80 is a good score, but it's disappointing to lose like that.
"With the players that we have, anyone can be the guy on any given day. There's times when our No. 5 man comes through, there's times when our No. 1 man comes through and there's everyone in between. We're fairly deep so we believe that we could have won today, but I guess it didn't happen."
Columbus Academy also shot a 651 but Wellington took home the runner-up trophy by winning the fifth-score tiebreaker. Schilling finished three strokes better than Academy's Vincent Dong (179).
Wellington and Academy battled throughout the postseason. The Jaguars shot a 307 to finish second to Academy (305) in the sectional Sept. 25 at Darby Creek. Both teams shot a 309 in the district Oct. 2 at Cumberland Trail, but the Jaguars won the district title on the fifth-score tiebreaker, as Ball (81) edged Dong by two strokes.
"Only two teams get to take home a trophy and the fact that we were one of them was some consolation, for me at least," Mosier said. "This was a special senior class and it will be hard to say goodbye to them."
The Jaguars lose four seniors in Henricks, Schilling, Taylor and Nick Mayne.
Miller places eighth in state golf tourney
Senior Annie Miller of the girls golf team shot a 158 over 36 holes to place eighth in the Division II state tournament held Oct. 12 and 13 at Ohio State's Gray Course, behind champion Maddy Mullins of Sandusky Perkins (149).
Miller shot an 80 in the first round and a 78 in the second.
Last year at state, she shot a 153 tie Pepper Pike Orange's Brynn FitzGerald for second behind Warren John F. Kennedy's Haley Harford (146).
"I wanted to beat my score here from last year to finish in the top five, but I played bad on the back nine on (Oct. 12)," Miller said. "But how I played that day didn't reflect how well I hit the ball because the wind carried the ball into the sand traps more than once and I had to work my way out of those situations."
Miller's state appearance capped a season in which she was medalist in 13 of the 16 events Wellington competed in.
Wellington finished sixth (422) in the 16-team Division II sectional Sept. 24 at Blacklick Woods behind the five district qualifiers in Bexley (375), Licking Valley (402), Centerburg (402), Jonathan Alder (406) and Granville (408).
Miller (78) was medalist, earning one of the five individual district-qualifying spots. Also competing were junior Katie King (108), freshman Regan Price (114), freshman Quinn Coleman (122) and sophomore Sarah Wayman (130).
Miller finished third (75) at district Oct. 1 at Pickaway Golf Course and secured the first of three individual state-qualifying berths.
"Annie had a great season and she's going to be hard to replace," said coach Bill Miller, who is not related to Annie. "But the rest of the girls are coming back and they have a lot of room to improve, so I hope that we'll still be a good team next year."
Doubles team falls short of state tourney
Sophomores Casey Hansen and Aashika Katapadi of the girls tennis team went 1-1 in doubles in the Division II district tournament Oct. 12 and 13 at Columbus School for Girls.
Hansen and Katapadi opened with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Hartley's Kim Osborn and Reese Walaszek before losing to CSG's Mary Anne Click and Tiffany Lau 6-4, 6-4 in a state-qualifying match.
The top two finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state Friday, Oct. 19, at Ohio State and Saturday, Oct. 20, at Hilliard Davidson.