Rutland's Jared Nelson tees off on the second hole during Wednesday's Division I golf championships at Vermont National Country Club.
SOUTH BURLINGTON — Rutland High School's string of near-misses came to an end and Rice and Stowe repeated at the Vermont State High School Golf Championships at firsttime host Vermont National on Wednesday.
The Raiders won in Division I for the first time in three years with a 311-316 win over defending champion North Country, led by medalist Jared Nelson with his 1-over par 73.
In Division II, Rice won for the third time in four years, 330-334 over Montpelier in a potential four-team dogfight.Harrison Thayer shot 77 to lead the Green Knights as they overcame a challenge from the Solons and D-II and overall medalist Bryson Richards, who posted the day's only sub-par round at 3-under 69.That included a three-putt bogey on the final hole.
Stowe won comfortably, 349-390 over runner-up Williamstown (390) with Clark Brown leading the way with his 79, which tied individual Nick Ojala of Proctor for medal honors.Brown beat out Ojala with a par on their third playoff hole.
Jimmy Mee might have been the happiest guy in Chittenden County on Wednesday.
The last two golf finals were not kind to the Rutland High senior.His team was considered a favorite at Green Mountain National in 2015 and at Ralph Myhre in 2016 but he shot an characteristically high score in the former and last year signed for an incorrect score.He left the scorer's area before his total was could be corrected and was disqualified.Rutland lost both matches by narrow margins.
Last year was particularly heartbreaking.
But on Wednesday Mee shot a solid 81 that fit into a splendid overall team performance, and was able to joke about last year.
"I'm not moving," he said.His teammates chuckled as Mee remained in the scorer's area, declining to leave until his valid score was posted.
"The first week (after states last year) was brutal," said Mee. "And then I started reflecting on it and I started writing some college essays on it.I thought if I can get through that I can get through anything.That's how I looked at it."
The incident served as motivation for not only Mee but his team mates.
"It motivated me and the guys to practice; I couldn't be prouder of them," he said.
The Raiders were not as their spectacular best on Wednesday but were solid from top to bottom; Nelson was not close to be his personal best on this course but was not in any trouble.Logan Broyles was a strong second tent pole with a 74, and Jack Slusarczyk had an 83 on a course with the potential for plenty of trouble.
"I am thrilled," said Raiders coach Rich Alberti. "I saw a lot of determination out there as I went around.Last I think they thought it was a given but sometimes that bites you on the tail.This year I think they understood things and they were calmer.They just did what they had to do.I saw a lot of determination.And I didn't see any tenseness."
Alex Giroux shot 74 to lead deposed champion North Country (316), Jordan Calhoun's 77 led Essex (319) and Sam Bender shot 77 for fourth-place Mount Mansfield.
John Thorn had 81 to lead Burr and Burton (347) and Kyle McClane posted 82 for South Burlingotn (349).
Wednesday's title was the fourth in high school for Mee.Now he has been a chief contributor in winning state championships in each of his three chosen sports, including golf, football and basketball, the latter which saw Rutland end a 50-year drought this past winter.
"It means a lot for it to end on a happy note," Mee said.
Rutland's Logan Broyles watches a putt Wednesday during the Division I golf championship at Vermont National Country Club in South Burlington.
The Green Knights golf program keeps attracting talent and they've found another keeper in freshman Mike Walsh.
"That was his best score all year," said the Knight's coach, Father Dallas St.Peter, after the freshman shot 79 to back Thayer's 77.
St.Peter instructed Rice (330) players to play within themselves in a potential showdown with Montpelier (334), Harwood (347) and Lake Region (356), teams that were separated by only nine shots during Harwood's victory at the qualifier at Rutland Country Club.
Luke McGoern shot 85 and Jacob Matowski 89 in a performance that would have placed Rice fourth in the D-I competition.
Richards highlighted his round with three straight birdies after a bogey but there was not enough support behind him to give Montpelier its first title.Zach Lague's 86 was Montpelier's second-best score.
Aidan Melville shot 78 to lead Harwood and Sam King had 81 for Lake Region.
Jake Turner shot 121 for Fair Haven (no team score) and Brady Hathorn had 90 for Hartford (430).
Sophomore Clark Brown is a quick study.A year after he blew up at Ralph Myhre he became medalist to lead the Raiders to a repeat championship.
Brown, also a lacrosse player with team mate Jackson Felis, shot 98 last year and while Stowe won the title, he was not one of the reasons.
"I just said don't have expectations and just hope for the best," he said of his philosophy coming into Wednesday's match.
"It's awesome.It's really fun to be a contributor."
Felis had an 83, Max Gentle 91 and Flynn Kearney 96 for the Raiders.Kail Johnson shot 93 for Williamstown, Jacob Curtis 93 for Windsor (436), Jake Kamel 94 for Rivendell (441) and Colton Niemi 95 for Hazen (456).
Brown's spring sports season is only half over; he'll join Felis and the rest of his Stowe team mates as they play Harwood in the championship round.
"We beat them early in the season but they beat a team that we lost to in the semis," he said. "We're looking forward to it."
Jared Nelson 73; Logan Broyles
74; Jimmy Mee 81; Jack Slusarcyzk 83.
NORTH COUNTRY (316)
Tyler Smith 78; Alex Giroux 74;
Dana Marsh 79; Mark Fauteau 85.
Brody Yates 82; Adam Ely 79;
Brennan Moreau 81; Jordan Calhoun 77.
MOUNT MANSFIELD (336)
Josh Graning 82; Kyle Wright 78;
Sam Bender 77; Hunter Werner
BURR AND BURTON (347)
John Thorn 81; Corey Donnell 89;
Sam Cochran 95; Connor Dee 82.
SOUTH BURLINGTON (349)
Kyle McLane 82; Carleton Plourde
91; Jagr Rinehart 88; Adam Sobczak
Mike Walsh 79; Harrison Thayer 77;
Jacob Matosky 89; Luke McGovern
Bryson Richards 69; Brandon Marineau 91; Lucas Eldred 88; Zach
Alden Melville 78; Nate Honeywell
90; Ivan Morse 90; Ian Groom 89.
LAKE REGION (356)
Jackson King 83; Kaden Swett 83;
Sam King 81; Camden Devereaux
Brady Hathorn 90; Ben Healy 111;
Jared Vanderpot 124; Kobe Labonte
FAIR HAVEN (NS)
Jake Turner 121; Ryan Wood 143;
Jon Culpo 123.
Hogan Beazley 80.
Nick Ojala 79.
Erik Lindahl 94.
Flynn Kearney 96; Jackson Felis 83;
Max Gentle 91; Clark Brown 79.
Nathan Poulis 96; Kail Johnson 93;
Brandon Currier 109; Tyler Orton 92.
Jacob Curtis 93; Dylan Deschamp
127; Ben Meagher 105; Grady Gilman 113.
Kyle Gelerian 119; Tanner Siemons
115; Jake Kamel 94; Isaac Martel 113.
Jack Niemi 128; Aaron Molleur 125; Colton Niemi 95; Julius
Photo by: Lilrizz