The Columbus Academy boys golf team clung to a two-stroke lead following the first round of the Division II state tournament, but pulled away in the second round Oct. 12 at NorthStar to cruise to its third consecutive state championship.

The Vikings shot 308 in the opening round Oct. 11 before capping their title quest with a 307 to close with a two-day total of 615, finishing well ahead of runner-up Kettering Alter (644). After shooting 310 in the opening round, Alter shot 334 in the second.

Sugarcreek Garaway placed third (655) in the 12-team field.

It marks the second time in program history that Academy has won three consecutive state titles. The Vikings capped a three-year run of Division III championships in 1999 and have won 10 state titles overall, ranking second all-time in Ohio behind Upper Arlington (17).

“This is awesome,” Academy coach Craig Yakscoe said. “I’m so proud of these boys, all their hard work and effort and energy. I know it was a big goal of theirs and the expectations were very high. We struggled a little bit (in the first round). We struggled a little (in the second), too, but it’s so awesome. They deserve it. They’ve earned it.”

Sophomore Russell Ahmed and senior Matthew Cammeyer led Academy in the field of 72 golfers. Both shot a 151 over two rounds to tie Upper Sandusky’s Brett Montgomery for second, behind medalist Mason Witt (150) of Jamestown Greeneview.

Ahmed and Cammeyer earned first-team all-state honors and senior Ali Khan (155, tied for seventh) was second-team all-state. Also competing for the Vikings were seniors Griffin Mitchell (158, tied for 12th) and Kahmar Byers (167, tied for 29th).

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