Boys Golf: Westerville Central's Josh Qian earns return trip to state

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Central senior Josh Qian will compete in the Division I state tournament Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course after earning district medalist honors Oct. 13 at Apple Valley.

A year after qualifying for his first Division I state tournament, Westerville Central boys golfer Josh Qian took an easier path to a return trip.

Qian advanced to state by earning medalist honors in the district tournament Oct. 13 at Apple Valley, finishing first of 72 golfers with a 70. Beginning play on the back 9, he shot a 37 on the back and a 33 on the front.

The top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.

‘Getting to state is the hardest part, especially out of the Central District,” said Qian, a senior. “Now I can just go there and play my game and not really have to worry. … I’m looking forward to it. I’ve played Scarlet a bunch of times. I absolutely love the place and I’m ready to go out and get after it.”

Last season at district, Qian earned the second of two individual-qualifying berths to state by shooting par on the second playoff hole against Gahanna’s Mitchell Soma.

Qian and Soma finished in a three-way tie for the two state berths with Pickerington North’s Carson Bellish after all three shot 70. Bellish shot par on the first playoff hole to move on to state, while Qian and Soma each bogeyed the first hole.

At state, Qian tied for eighth (152) of 72 golfers behind medalist Tyler Groomes (142) of team champion Dublin Jerome (607).

“He put in the work, he deserves to go back,” Central coach Kyle Baker said. “Individual-wise, I’m not surprised at all. I’m proud of him. He’s had an up-and-down year, but it’s nice to put it together.”

Olentangy Orange (298) and Jerome (302) earned the state berths as teams, while 

St. Charles freshman Leo Walling (72) earned the other individual spot.

“Our goal at the beginning of the year was for Josh individually to win a state championship and now he has the opportunity,” Baker said. “It’s so difficult to make it through Central District with all the great players, so to have him be at the top (at district), he’ll have all the confidence rolling in there. We’ll get a good practice round in and see what we can do.”

Competing in their fourth consecutive district tournament, the Warhawks finished fifth (308) of 12 teams.

“I’m obviously happy that I made it through, but it stinks that we didn’t get to go as a team, especially since we were so close,” Qian said.

Ryan Dollenmayer and Brady Urian each shot 78, followed by Quinn Gallagher (82) and Grayson Harris (87).

“We’re in a tough district,” Baker said. “There’s plenty of teams that deserve to be at state. We’re not necessarily one of them, but we were close today, so it hurts. One hole (No. 5) killed us, so we were about as close as it gets.”

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank