For four local boys golf teams, qualifying for next week’s state finals will be an uphill climb.
But with three teams qualifying out of today’s Providence Regional, one of those three spots might be reachable for Columbus East, Columbus North, Jennings County or Brown County.
Top-ranked Center Grove and No. 4 Bloomington South are the favorites for the regional at Champions Pointe. No. 12 Perry Meridian, No. 13 Evansville North and No. 15 Bedford North Lawrence figure to battle for the third spot, along with several other teams, including East and No. 16 Columbus North.
“We know we’re going to have to play well as a team,” East coach Tom LaBarbera said. “We played well last week at sectional, so we’re excited and optimistic. We’re realistic, too. We understand there are some very good teams, and we probably have the hardest regional in the state.”
The Olympians, led by senior Austin Proffitt’s medalist round of 67, fired a 306 on Friday to win the Greensburg Sectional for the second consecutive year. Columbus North finished second with a 309.
This week, North coach Doug Bieker conducted a 54-hole playoff between his Nos. 2 through 7 players for his final four spots in today’s lineup. Junior Bryce Turner, who led the Bull Dogs with a 71 in the sectional, was exempt.
“We were pretty frustrated after our performance last week,” Bieker said. “Some of those guys who were so far ahead in average haven’t felt the pressure, so we’re creating some pressure this week and see what they can do. Whoever makes it through this qualifying will be prepared for (today).”
Jennings County and Brown County also will be among the 18 teams entered in today’s field. The Eagles finished third in Friday’s Bloomington North Sectional to earn their first trip to regional in school history, while the Panthers took third in Monday’s Madison Sectional.
The state finals will be Tuesday and Wednesday at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
North senior to compete
Columbus North senior Katrina May, who finished third in the state in the pole vault in Friday’s Girls Track and Field State Finals, will compete in the Midwest Meet of Champions at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.The MMOC features the top seniors from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Columbus East senior Rhett Myers, who finished second in the boys discus and fifth in the shot put, also qualified for the meet, but will not make the trip in order to focus on his commitments to the Air Force Academy, where he will play football in the fall.
May, who will pole vault at Purdue University, also plans to compete in the New Balance Nationals June 17 to 19 at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Crusader headed to Bethel
Columbus Christian senior Payton Ingram has committed to play basketball at Bethel College. He announced his decision in a signing ceremony Monday at the school.Ingram is the second Crusader senior to commit to a college program. Adriane Polley is headed to Cincinnati Christian.
Locals earn academic honor
Columbus North senior Elizabeth Bell has been selected to the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Academic All-State softball first team.Columbus East’s Elyse Babb, North’s Katie Prall and Jennings County’s Kaylin Klosterman are honorable mention selections.
Dogs named All-Conference
Three Columbus North baseball players have been selected to the All-Conference Indiana first team.Seniors Canaan Baum, Collin Lollar and Brice McDaniel are on the first team. Juniors Wade Rankin and Cooper Trinkle made honorable mention.
North seniors Katie Prall and Tommi Stowers made the All-Conference Indiana softball first team. Senior Christine Bombardiere and junior Madisyn Prince are honorable mention selections.
Senior Paige Littrell and junior Aubrey Smith made the All-Conference girls tennis team.
Ted Schultz is a sports reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at email@example.com