VASSALBORO – So here was Mt. Ararat High School hoping to repeat as state golf champion. And there was standout Colby Manuel three-putting his first hole for bogey.

“Obviously I struggled a little bit,” Manuel said, “but the guys pulled it out.”

Indeed, Mt. Ararat won its second straight Class A team championship Saturday in a close event at Natanis Golf Course.

The Eagles scored 325, nudging ahead of Greely and Falmouth, both at 327. Greely won the tiebreaker for second place.

In Class B, York also was a repeat winner, scoring 342, ahead of second-place Freeport (352) and Leavitt (362) in third. Fourth-place Cape Elizabeth was close behind at 366.

Leavitt was paced by sophomore Rudy Haylock’s 81, which tied for the second-best individual score. Senior Eli Lind (89) tied for 10th, and sophomore Morghan Dutil tied for 17th (92).

“We’re a young team, so we’re happy with third place,” Hornets coach Harry Haylock said.

Kents Hill won Class C in its first appearance in the tournament, scoring 332, 10 strokes ahead of second-place Orono (342). Saint Dominic Academy (362) placed third.

Neil Larochelle finished fourth for St. Dom’s with an 82. Teammate Will Fletcher (84) tied for eighth and Demetri Gammaitoni (91) tied for 16th.

“I think we expected a little more,” St. Dom’s coach Chris Whitney said, “but we’re young. We’ll be back.”

Monmouth took sixth, four strokes ahead of seventh-place Dirigo.

Abby Flanagan was the Mustangs’ top scorer, shooting 90 and placing 15th. Ryan Burnham (93) was 20th and tied for Matt Fortin 22nd (95). For Dirigo, Sam Skibitsky (83) tied for fifth and Wyatt Smith (88) was 13th.

The Class C competition was held on Natanis’ Arrowhead course. Mitch Tarrio of Kents Hill had the best score in Class C with a 2-under 70.

The A and B classes played on the Tomahawk course, where Armand Ouellette of Thornton Academy put up the best score with a 1-over 73. Manuel was next at 75.

Edward Little tied for sixth and Lewiston came in 10th.

Will Cassidy (81, tied for 11th) and Colin Merritt (82, tied for 16th) paced the Red Eddies, and Clay Robbins (85) tied for 23th.

Ryan Pomerleau (84) tied for 20th to lead the Blue Devils. Parker Thibault (85) tied for 23rd, and Bryce Dufour (86) tied for 29th.

Manuel, who will defend his individual championship next week on this course, could shrug off his 75. Last week he set the course record at 63.

“I didn’t expect a 63 today,” Mt. Ararat coach Gerry Caron said, “but anybody else who shot his round would be happy as can be.”

Manuel is a senior headed to the University of Connecticut. He was the key to a rebuilding season for the Eagles, who lost three vital seniors from last year’s title team.

“We took that as a challenge,” Manuel said. “I’m so proud of these guys. They’ve been working since the snow melted last spring. It was a big team win.”

Freshman Parker Bate came in with a 78 for Mt. Ararat, followed by Eli Schoenberg (85) and Ty Henke (87).

Manuel recovered from his double bogey. “I just kind of made seven pars in a row. I couldn’t get anything going but the score was good enough.”

The Eagles needed everything, with Greely and Falmouth on their heels.

“It was close. The kids did a great job,” Greely coach Brian Bickford said. “In our (conference) we finished third, and then today, finishing second in the state. I can’t complain.”

D.J. Kenney led the Rangers with a 78, followed by Andrew Klein (79), and Dawson Jowett and Connor Albert (both 85). Nick Montminy, the No. 5 golfer, shot an 86, which was the tiebreaker Greely needed for second place.

Falmouth was led by Tyler Baker (79). Thornton (329) finished fourth. Messalonskee (333), behind Bradley Condon’s 76, was fifth.

In Class B, Tyler Rivers of York (76) was the only individual to break 80.

“I played OK. Not many good holes, but enough,” Rivers said. “We knew it would be close.”

Rivers was followed by Jonathan Donovan (82), Colin Butters (91) and Greg Goldberg 93).

In Class C, Kents Hills, a prep school in Readfield, always had played in their New England prep school league but decided to also enter the Maine tournament this year.

“Someone introduced the idea to us,” Tarrio said. “We think we knew we had a pretty good chance.”

Kents Hill was led by three players — Tarrio, T.J. Folsom (83) and Cam Knowles (84). Three of the Huskies who play in the prep league are postgraduate students and not eligible for the high school event. So Kents Hills called up three players from the junior varsity. One of them, Brad Maki, shot a 95 to secure the victory.

Meanwhile, Tarrio was recovering from a double bogey on his second hole – “errant drive” — and began stringing together birdies, including an 8-foot putt after an 185-yard drive with his 7-iron on the par-3 fifth.

With six golfers still on the course, Kents Hill had it wrapped up. St. Dominic appeared headed for a second straight runners-up trophy, but Franc Flower of Orono was one of those final golfers and his 76 moved the Red Riots into second.


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