HOWARD — The two-time defending Division I state champion Dublin Jerome boys golf team is headed back to state for the sixth consecutive season.
The Celtics will have familiar company in Olentangy Liberty, which qualified for the fifth time in seven seasons.
Also at the district tournament Oct. 8 at Apple Valley, Pickerington North’s Carson Bellish and Westerville Central’s Josh Qian both carded a 70 to qualify for state as individuals.
The top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Oct. 18 and 19 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.
“Overall, we did our job,” Jerome junior Tyler Groomes said. “We all feel like we could have played a little better, but our goal was to make it to state and, obviously, we accomplished that.”
Jerome shot 300 to capture the district title, finishing three strokes ahead of runner-up Liberty (303). Pickerington North (308) was third, followed by St. Charles (310), Olentangy Orange (310), Dublin Coffman (311), Upper Arlington (311), Olentangy Berlin (317), Gahanna (318), New Albany (321), Westerville Central (321) and Hilliard Darby (339).
Ethan Snyder shot a 73 to lead the Celtics, followed by Groomes (74), Logan Menning (76), Jake Yarbrough (77) and Ryan Norkin (80).
Jack O’Donnell led Liberty with a 71, followed by Grant Smeltzer (74), Hunter Corbin (77), Ben Armbruster (81) and Andrew Blosser (85).
“We had three solid scores that I was really comfortable with,” Patriots coach Ryan Snivley said. “We turned at 150 and finished at 303, so it was a pretty steady day.”
Bellish, Qian and Gahanna’s Mitchell Soma tied for the lowest overall score, forcing a playoff to determine which two would advance to state.
On the first playoff hole, Bellish shot par to advance while Qian and Soma both bogeyed.
“My swing’s been getting a lot better, so this felt good,” Bellish said.
On the second playoff hole, Qian shot par and Soma shot bogey as Qian earned the other qualifying berth.
“Being able to play another hole, you have to re-gather yourself,” Qian said. “I did that well in the tee box.”
St. Charles’ Reece Yakubov shot a 71 to tie O’Donnell for fourth overall. Coffman’s Jacob Hazen was sixth with a 72 and Hilliard Davidson’s Zach Burton and Gahanna’s Dylan Errington both carded a 73 to tie Snyder for seventh.