VASSALBORO — A season ago, the Gardiner golf team won one match.

Now, the Tigers have the chance to play for a Class B championship.

Gardiner shot a team score of 367 on Tuesday at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference golf qualifier at Natanis Golf Course, good enough for a top-four finish and an automatic berth into states.

Leavitt (337) — which qualified for states by winning the KVAC B Shootout last week — had the top score amonst CLass B teams Tuesday. Lincoln Academy (349) and Cony (359) also qualified for states. Messalonskee (332) finished fourth in the KVAC A qualifier to also secure a berth in the Class A championships.

Brunswick (308) — which was undefeated in the regular season — finished first in KVAC A, followed by Bangor (327) and Edward Little (330). Maranacook (346) topped Maine Central Institute (396) to qualify for the CLass C championships.

The individual and team state championships are Friday (Class A) and Saturday (Classes B and C) at Natanis.


“This year, to finish second in our conference (in the regular season) and qualify for states, we couldn’t be more excited,” Gardiner head coach Ryan Low said.

Freshman Jack Quinn (81) and sophomore Austin Gould (82) had the low scores for Gardiner.

“We’ve got two really young, talented players at the top of our lineup, a freshman and a sophomore in Jack and Austin,” Low said. “After that, we’ve got four seniors who (are experienced). We didn’t need them to come out and shoot par. We just needed them to be consistent, come out and play and they did that (Tuesday).”

Cony was led by junior Alex Fournier, who shot an 83.

“We’re so excited,” Cony head coach Shawn Johnson said. “It’s a group of kids that have hard all year long, they get along really well. They put the time in to improve themselves, and it shows.”

Leavitt had five of its six golfers shoot in the 80s for the day, led by sophomores Alexis McCormick (82) and Jade Haylock (83).


“I’m satisfied with the score, though it’s not indicative of our skill set,” Leavitt head coach Harry Haylock said. “But I’d rather play (us) well today, and play really well on Saturday.”

Gardiner and Cony were far from the the only success stories for central Maine teams. Messalonskee junior Jacob Moody shot a 73 for the Eagles, the second-lowest score of any golfer on the day.

“I came in just trying to shoot in the mid-70s,” Moody said. “This exceeded my expectations. Luck was on my side in (some) situations, but I was definitely just trying to play smart.”

Brunswick’s Will Farschon follows his tee shot on Arrowhead’s No. 11 during the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference golf state qualifier Tuesday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The Dragons, meanwhile, had three players shoot in the 70s, including senior Austin Stromick (76), junior Charlie Austin (76) and sophomore Will Farschon (75).

“They’re just hard workers,” Brunswick head coach Mike Routhier said. “They don’t just pick up a club when golf season starts. They work at it all year.”

“Today was a great day,” Stromick said. “The three of us just went out and played solid. On this course, you just need to keep (the ball) in play. Take pars and get your birdies when you hit it close.”


Liam Doughty of Bangor shot a 71, the lowest overall score of the day.

“It’s a pretty surreal moment for myself,” Doughty said. “The putter was just on. It was just going good good… Just consistency won out in the end, got me through.”

In KVAC C, Maranacook’s Wyatt Folsom led the Black Bears with an 81.

Nathan Choate of Erskine tees off on Tomahawk’s No. 18 during the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference golf state qualifier Tuesday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“This is what we hoped to do at the beginning of the year,” Maranacook head coach Ryan Meserve said. “It’s always tough when it comes down to (one tournament), but they all played well collectively today, which is great. They picked each other up, they’ve been doing it all year.”

Several central Maine golfers also qualified for the individual state championships. Among those players are MCI’s Owen Moore (75), Belfast’s James Ritter (78), Nokomis’ Alex Grant (89), Mt. Ararat’s Sam Betz (83), Mt. Blue’s Zak Koban (83), Skowhegan’s Eddie Goff (83) and Silas Tibbetts (88).

The qualifier, originally scheduled for 10 a.m., was delayed 30 minutes due to frost. Temperatures rose from the 40s to the 60s by the end of the day.

“The delay helped, because it warmed after the delay,” Moody said. “In the first few holes, I had a long sleeve (shirt) on. But after the first few holes, it was fine.”

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