Breaking a record usually calls for a celebration — unless you aren’t the only record-breaker.
Just five miles apart, the state’s top two boys golf teams, New Trier and Glenbrook North, traveled 150 miles only to meet again in a record-breaking shootout in which each team shattered the IHSA state tournament record of 583.
The Spartans, though, were a smidge better over 36 holes to win the state title over the Trevians, 575-578, in the Class 3A tournament Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington.
The Trevs finished 14 strokes ahead of third-place Hinsdale Central.
“It was sad. It’s not the trophy they wanted or what we strive for,” New Trier coach Pete Drevline said. “We shot a state record, but GBN was a little bit better on Saturday. We are definitely proud of (the record), but missed our ultimate goal.”
The previous record of 583 was set by St. Viator and Normal University High in 2008 and 2007 respectively.
The result on Oct. 9 was the Trevians seventh second-place state finish in the past 12 seasons and an upgrade to their 2019 third-place trophy.
Leading up to the state tournament, Glenbrook North won the regional and New Trier won the sectional. The local foes also met in a number of weekend tournaments.
Then, at state on Friday, Oct. 8, they each shot a one-day state record 282 to enter the final day tied atop the team leaderboard.
“I think we’ve seen each other 10 times this year,” Drevline said. “It’s like a heavyweight fight, like Ali-Frazier, body blow after body blow. On any given day, we could beat each other. It was definitely tough competition throughout the year.”
On the final day, the Trevs and Spartans exchanged leads multiple times, with the Trevians taking a one-stroke lead on the back nine with the final groups coming through.
In a key spot, though, Glenbrook North shot a collective one-under par on the 17th hole— a 196-yard Par 3 that dog-legs over a water hazard — to New Trier’s three-over par.
In the final foursome, the Spartans Jason Gordon birdied the 17th and 18th holes to ensure a team and individual victory, as he edged Trevians senior James Pryor, 137-139, or 7-under to 5-under.
All six New Trier golfers figured in the team scoring. The Trevians took Round 1 scores from Pryor (68), Alex Creamean (71), Noah Zyung (71) and Tyler Greenspan (72), and Day 2 scores from Pryor (71), Gage Johnson (72), Charlie Colegrove (76) and Greenspan (77).
Johnson’s one-over 145 was good enough for eighth overall in the tournament. Johnson, a senior, shot a minus-3 33 on his final nine holes for the Trevs.
“I’m very proud of these guys,” Drevline said. “They are incredible competitors and gifted golfers, but I’m most proud that they are true gentlemen on and off the course. This is one of the best teams in New Trier history.”
Loyola Academy junior standout Ryan Banas shot a one-over 145, thanks to rounds of even par 72 and one-over 73.
A couple miles away, at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington, North Shore Country Day’s golf team was in a battle of its own.
The Raiders nearly pulled off a miraculous Day 2 comeback, trimming a six-stroke deficit to one, to finish in second place in IHSA Class 1A. Vandalia captured the state championship was a 616 to NSCD’s 617. IC Catholic was right behind with a 618.
“The last half-hour, 45 minutes was as stressful as you can have as a coach,” Raiders coach Cy Oelerich said. “I kept updating the app and a different team would be on top. It is crazy that three teams kept going back and forth.”
North Shore benefitted from Luke Madigan’s 152, the seventh best score of the weekend; Robbie Black’s 155; Hugo Hourihane’s 156 and Jack Hunt’s 157. Max Greenberg Winnick carded a 77 and Dusty Karmin a 78 on Day 1.
Seniors Madigan, Hunt and Karmin helped the Raiders to a fifth-place finish in 2019 and were on a mission for a trophy, Oelerich said, and just missed on the ultimate prize.
“I told them they got to be proud of everything they did and we can’t control what other teams did,” he said.
While he called the finish “heartbreaking,” Oelerich said that when the long bus ride home was over, the team recognized its feat.
“By the time we got home, they wanted to go and celebrate with the trophy,” he said. “What an accomplishment and they realized it was pretty amazing what they had done as a team.”
The second-place finish earned the Raiders their first state trophy since a second-place result in 2014.
And back in Winnetka, three Raiders underclassmen got off the bus and told Oelerich that they will back for another one in 2022.
Meanwhile, in Decatur, the Loyola Academy girls squad continued its late-season heroics, shooting a collective 612 over the two days to finish safely in third place in the IHSA Class 2A tournament at Hickory Point Golf Course.
Katie Suk led the way for the Ramblers, carding a 72 and 77 for a fifth-best score of 149, just eight strokes from individual champ Sophia Sulkar, of Barrington. The Broncos were also the team champions.
Bailey Bitbabo (77, 74), Katie Magner (76, 76), Laine Rutkowski (81, 80) and Gigi Zera figured in the scoring for Loyola.
New Trier, which entered the tournament as a favorite to earn a trophy, landed in fifth place with a 628 (316, 312), one stroke behind fourth-place Hinsdale Central and 16 in back of the Ramblers.
The scoring was above the Trevs’ season average, coach Scott Fricke said, and while playing against stiff competition, any slip is magnified at state.
“We didn’t play poorly, but we didn’t play our best,” he said. “There were seven or eight really high quality teams that we played with all year and went back and forth with.
“Obviously, we want to go down there and win a state championship. It just really wasn’t in the cards. It’s sad at the end, but more so because of the senior class that has been together for four years.”
Coming off a sectional championship where she carded a 74, New Trier junior Amy Beanblossom shot two 76s to pace her team. Her efforts were backed by seniors Peyton Sichol (77, 79), Carter Sichol (79, 80) and Siara Patel (84, 77). Freshman Alexa Green and senior Amelia Morris also competed for the Trevians.
Fricke emphasized the high school careers of the Sichol sisters, Patel and Morris, who led the Trevians through a remarkable 2021 campaign that featured just one dual-meet loss (to state runnerup Stevenson), a number of tournament wins, including over Stevenson, Barrington and others at the Waukegan Invite; and regional and sectional crowns.
“The Sichols have been playing unbelievable golf the last four years for us,” Fricke said. “Siara Patel played great on Day 2, shot a 77, and when she played well, our team was really good. I’m really proud of the way she played this season. And Amelia Morris was consistent all year and a great teammate. We’re going to miss her.”
“We’ve basically been playing well all year,” Fricke added. “They’re disappointed, but it doesn’t diminish the season we had.”