Boys Golf: Westerville Central's Josh Qian caps career with second appearance at state
The Westerville Central boys golf team reached new heights this season led by one of the top players in the state.
Senior Josh Qian capped the season for the Warhawks by competing in the Division I state tournament Oct. 23 and 24 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.
After shooting a 71 on the opening day for second place behind Nick Piesen of Cleveland St. Ignatius, Qian shot an 80 the next day to finish tied for seventh (151) in the field of 72 as Jordan Gilkison (143) of Springboro was the medalist.
“This season was a lot of fun, and we exceeded a lot of expectations,” said Qian, who was second-team all-state. “We’ve had roughly the same team for most of my high school career, so I’ve been able to create such a strong bond with these guys. It’s been amazing to see these guys grow over the years.”
Last season in his first trip to state, Qian tied for eighth (152) to also earn second-team all-state.
“Obviously the goal was to win a state championship and that was his goal right from the beginning when he joined the program,” coach Kyle Baker said. “To go there twice from the Central District is really impressive. He’s done so much for our program, the school, the community, so he kind of put us on the map which is nice.”
Qian plans on playing in college but remains undecided about where.
“While the season didn’t quite end how we’d hoped, both as a team and individually, I know I’m leaving the program in great hands and I know these guys are going to have a shot to be great next year,” he said. “I wouldn’t have traded these last four years for anything.”
Another highlight was winning the program’s first league title, as the Warhawks finished first in the four-round OCC-Ohio Division tournament at 13-3 ahead of second-place Grove City (11-5).
Qian (73 average) and junior Ryan Dollenmayer (74.67) were first-team all-league, and senior Quinn Gallagher (77.5) was second-team.
“The season was great,” Gallagher said. “It didn’t end how I wanted it to, but I had a lot of fun with the team this year and hope they can go to state next year.”
Junior Brady Urian had an 81.67 league average.
Senior Grayson Harris, who was in his first season of competition, finished with an 83.5 league average.
Baker realizes it will be a challenge to replace three members of the lineup, but believes there are golfers at the j.v. and middle school levels who should contribute next season.
“It’s going to be hard to replace the seniors,” Baker said. “I know this was Grayson’s first year, but between Josh and Quinn, they’ve really left their mark on the program. They’re great kids and they’re going to do great things in the future. It’s going to be tough, just the men that they’re going to be and how they represented the program.
“Our j.v. coach (Jim Kloepfer) has done a good job and our program has more kids than it usually ever does, so we have some younger guys who are ready to step up.”
•OCC-Ohio standings: Westerville Central (13-3), Grove City (11-5), New Albany (7-9), Pickerington North (5-11), Gahanna (4-12)
•Seniors lost: Quinn Gallagher, Grayson Harris and Josh Qian
•Key returnees: Ryan Dollenmayer and Brady Urian
•Postseason: Third (312) at sectional behind champion Dublin Jerome (298), fifth (308) at district behind champion Olentangy Orange (298)