Golf: Columbus Academy boys capture fourth consecutive state championship

ThisWeek Sports Staff
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Columbus Academy's Russell Ahmed hits off the 12th fairway during the Division II state tournament Oct. 16 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.

The Columbus Academy boys golf team continued its domination at the Division II level by winning its fourth consecutive state title Oct. 17 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.

The Vikings, who led Kettering Alter 300-315 following the first round Oct. 16, wrapped up the title with a two-day total of 615. Alter finished second (629) in a 12-team field.

It is the Vikings’ 11th state title, which is second all-time to Upper Arlington’s 17.

“This is pretty special for these kids,” coach Craig Yakscoe said. “They just won a state championship and on top of that, it’s four in a row and that’s very special. We’re going to celebrate together.”

Stephen Ma earned medalist honors with a 144, topping a field of 72 golfers.

Russell Ahmed (155, 11th overall) was next for the Vikings, followed by Aditya Reddy (156, tied for 12th), Jake Stouffer (162, 19th) and Arvind Rajagopalan (170, tied for 37th).

“I’m just grateful to be a part of this,” Ahmed said. “I didn’t play my best golf this week, but it was enough to support the team. Whatever the team needs is my mindset. There’s a lot to work on, but I really was fortunate to be a part of this.”

—Frank DiRenna

Jaguars’ Judge ties for second in Division III

A strong start in his final round of the Division III state boys tournament Oct. 17 at NorthStar put Wellington senior Carsten Judge in position to win the state championship.

Judge had three birdies among his first six holes and led by one stroke with two holes to go.

He followed with back-to-back bogeys, however, for a two-day total of 147 to tie him with Pettisville's Max Leppelmeier as Brookston Hummel of Berlin Hiland won with a 146.

Judge shot 75 in the opening round Oct. 16 before closing with a 72.

"I knew I could put together a good round," he said. "I hit my approach shot and had a good shot (on No. 18). I hit a really bad chip and the putt probably missed by two inches. It was just a misread."

Judge was trying to become the second consecutive Wellington golfer to win state medalist honors after 2020 graduate Aidan Schumer accomplished that feat last fall.

"He came out of the gates on all cylinders," coach Oliver Chapman said. "He birdied No. 1, No. 4 and No. 5 and he still played a great back 9. He was just steady all day. It's going to sting for him to go out like that, but he's got such a bright future."

—Jarrod Ulrey

Columbus School for Girls' Kate Kramer tees off on the first hole in the Division II state tournament Oct. 16 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.

Unicorns finish fourth in Division II

Columbus School for Girls dropped two places in the final round of the Division II state tournament Oct. 17 at Ohio State’s Gray Course, but still reached its goal.

The Unicorns shot 354 in the second round to finish fourth (694) of 12 teams behind Lima Central Catholic (630), Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley (683) and Shaker Heights Laurel (689). Last fall, CSG placed 10th with a 731 as Central Catholic won with a 647.

“Our goal was to finish in the top half, and we accomplished that by finishing fourth,” coach Chris Ditello said. “We did exactly what we set out to do, and we have nothing to do but be proud of where we’re at right now. We improved by six positions from last year.”

The Unicorns shot 340 in the first round Oct. 16 to stand second behind Central Catholic’s 310.

“Being in (second place entering the final round), all of the pressure is on you to keep playing well and keep that position,” Ditello said. “Whereas if you are the one coming from behind you can throw it all out there and leave it all out there because you have nothing to lose. It’s a totally different mindset and a different part of the game that we had never experienced before.”

Senior Kate Kramer led CSG with a 160 to finish 12th of 71 golfers behind medalist Jami Morris (138) of Laurel.

Senior Caroline Kromalic (172, 25th overall) was next for the Unicorns, followed by sophomore Emma Kim (174, tied for 28th), freshman Madi Kim (188, tied for 46th) and senior Ally Werstler (205, tied for 58th).

—Scott Hennen

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