VASSALBORO — Nothing was going to stop Mt. Ararat senior Caleb Manuel. Not even a little rain.

Manuel shot a 63 to lead all golfers Tuesday at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference golf qualifier at Natanis Golf Course. The mark not only beat the cut to qualify for the individual state championships Oct. 12 by 22 strokes, it also set a new Tomahawk Course record.

Manuel’s score was 13 shots better than the next lowest score — that came from Mt. Ararat teammate Parker Bate, Lewiston’s Parker Thibeault and Ruby Haylock of Leavitt. The outing was more impressive considering the conditions were less than ideal. Rain made the course slow-playing in some spots. It also provided soft greens.

“The greens were kind of soft (due to the rain), so on wet shots and approach shots, they weren’t rolling out; they were kind of sticking to the pin,” Manuel said. “I think softer conditions is a little bit easier out here, so you can just keep it around the pin, know what the bounce (on the green) is going to do.”

The score was no shocker to Manuel, who tied the previous course record of 64 during his practice round.

“I know the qualifying score was pretty high, and I’ve been playing pretty good this fall and this summer,” Manuel said. “I was just kind of setting my own goal and get as far under par as I possibly could. I didn’t have a setback, didn’t have a bogie out there. I birdied the first hole, and I eagled (the third hole), and I got off to a hot start, making putts and hitting it close (to the pin).”

Thanks to the low scores from Manuel and Bate, Mt. Ararat (307) finished with the lowest team score in Class A by 28 strokes, and will lead the pack into the Class A championship match Saturday at Natanis. The Eagles were followed by Messalonskee (335), Lewiston (341), Edward Little (346) and Hampden (351), all which qualified for states.

Thibeault led the way for Lewiston, and despite shooting a 76, felt he could have provided a better score on the course.

“I could have been better,” Thibeault said. “I had a couple of bad holes. Couldn’t get some putts to fall, but I got some (to go in).”

Leavitt finished with a team score of 348 to top the Class B field. The Hornets will be joined at the Class B championships Saturday with Belfast (362), Waterville (365), Medomak Valley (378) and Gardiner (380).

Haylock’s score of 76 was tops in Class B, five strokes better than Belfast’s James Ritter.

Haylock will be joined at the individual state championship Oct. 12 by teammates Morghan Dutil (who shot 86) and Rebekah Davis, who shot a 100 to make the girls state cut.

In Class A, the boys who shot 85 or better qualified for the individual state championships. That includes Thibault, Edward Little’s Colin Merritt (77) and Will Cassidy (85) and Oxford Hills’ Dylan Davis (85).


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.