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Beehner one of seven freshmen golfers set for WPIAL girls finals

| Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 8:57 p.m.

For the first time since 2006, a female golfer from Gateway will compete at a WPIAL individual champ- ionship tournament.

Gators freshman Johnna Beehner is one of 11 golfers from Section 3 to qualify for the WPIAL AAA event, set for Monday at 3 Lakes Golf Course in Penn Hills.

She was one of three freshman from Section 3 and one of seven freshmen overall to move on from the qualifiers.

Beehner shot an 43 on the front nine and a 40 on the back nine at last Thursday's Section 3 qualifier at Saxon Golf Course in Sarver.

Her 83 put her in third behind Penn-Trafford sen- ior Haley Borkovich (76) and Shady Side Academy senior Shannon Gramley (77). Beehner was able to rally after a couple of over-par scores on the first couple of holes.

“I don't know if it was nerves or a couple of bad shots,” Gateway head coach Dennis Persin said.

“She settled down and stuck with the game plan. She had the confidence on the back nine to get the score down. For a freshman, she showed she belongs.”

Plum freshman Samantha Shumaker joined the Section 3 golfers at the qualifier, and she qualified for WPIALs with an 88.

Plum doesn't have a girls golf team, so she plays section matches on the Mustangs boys squad.

The top eight golfers from the WPIAL AAA finals advance to the Western PIAA individual qualifying round on Oct. 15 at Tom's Run Golf Course at Chestnut Ridge in Blairsville.

“I'm confident she can be in the top eight at WPIALs,” Persin said.

Gateway golf alumnus Caryn Doege finished sixth at the WPIAL championship tournament as a senior in 2006.

She went on to the PIAA Western Regional event and placed 12th, just missing a trip to states.

After graduation from Gateway, Doege golfed in college at St. Francis (Pa).

WPIAL boys semifinals

Gateway junior golfers Bobby Guiliani and Steve Reber were in the mix Tuesday at a WPIAL Class AAA semifinal tournament at the Links at Spring Church in Apollo.

The top 12 from each of the three semifinal events advanced to the WPIAL AAA finals, set for next Wednesday at the Fox Chapel Golf Club in O'Hara Township.

However, neither Guiliani or Reber were able to make the top-12 cut, which was set at 80. Guiliani shot an 82, while Reber finished with an 88.

“Both were frustrated,” Gateway boys golf coach Jason Tyska said.

“They felt they had a good opportunity to make the finals, but it just didn't go their way. But they are underclassmen and will have another chance next year. They can use this experience if they get back to this point. They'll know what to expect.”

Two golfers tied for the low score of 74 at the Apollo qualifier.

Guiliani and Reber were two of eight from Section 4-AAA to move to the semifinals from last week's section qualifier at Meadowink Golf Course in Murrysville.

Guiliani and three others tied for the low score with 18-hole rounds of 77.

Reber and two others shot rounds of 78.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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