Sewickley Academy golf teams both finish 2nd at WPIAL championships
The Sewickley Academy boys and girls golf teams had different reactions to their second-place finishes at the WPIAL Class AA team championships last week at Cedarbrook Golf Club in Belle Vernon.
The boys team, Division II runner-up a year ago, was disappointed it did not win.
The girls team, qualifying for the first time, was thrilled with being runner-up.
The boys team had a score of 415, four strokes behind Burgettstown, which tied for second with Sewickley Academy last season.
Junior Keenan Hickton led Sewickley Academy with a round of 77.
Senior Jordan Milo (82), sophomore Anthony Muscato (83), senior Tim McKinney (85) and sophomore Chris Johnson (88) also competed.
“Last year, we were happy with second place,” said Milo, 17. “This year, we really wanted to win.”
Sewickley Academy coach Win Palmer agreed that winning the WPIAL title was a top goal.
“(It's) what pushed us to work hard,” he said. “Given our preparation and effort, it was disappointing to finish second.
“(The loss) was a combination of (our) not playing our best, particularly on the putting greens, and Burgettstown playing with a veteran team.”
Sewickley Academy (16-3 overall, 12-0 in Section 9-AA) advanced to the final after winning the semifinal round with a score of 378.
The Panthers were WPIAL Division II champions three straight times from 2006 to 2008.
In their fourth year, third as a varsity team, the Sewickley Academy girls were happy just to have qualified for the WPIAL championship.
“With only two seniors, we were very young,” said Nancy Means, the team's coach since its inception. “In the near future, we would like to win.
“But for now, being runner-up is just as good.”
The Panthers (419) finished 78 strokes behind Central Valley (341), which was heavily favored after winning two straight Division II titles.
Sophomore Tanvi Rana, Sewickley Academy's No. 3 golfer, shot a career-best 89 to lead the Panthers.
“For Tanvi to have her lowest score in a match, especially such a major one, is pretty amazing,” Means said.
Senior Micaela Becker, the Panthers' No. 1 competitor the past two years, had a score of 95, followed by freshman Jane Blaugrund (118) and senior Lauren Gedeon (117).
Sophomore Brianne Thomas competed, but did not score.
“Brianne might not have scored, but her contribution during the regular season helped us get (to the WPIAL championship),” Means said.
Sewickley Academy (8-4) was Section 2 runner-up to Central Valley during the regular season.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.