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Rain forces PIAA to cancel final day of championship

| Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005

YORK -- It was 44 degrees, blustery and rainy Tuesday when dozens of high school golfers -- many of them in contention for a PIAA championship -- were hitting balls on the range at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort & Conference Center.

Tee times, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., were held up because of standing water on some fairways and greens. The PIAA, reluctant to give up the second day of its 36-hole golf championship, initially delayed the start, then switched to a noon shotgun in an effort to determine the final order of finish for the 20 medals to be awarded.

But the rain never stopped, and shortly before noon, the PIAA canceled the final day of the tournament. The golfers who were ahead after the first day were named champions.

"The golf course is not in condition for a tournament such as this," said Dr. Robert Lombardi, associate executive director of the PIAA. "The second round is canceled. The results from yesterday (Monday) will stand."

Rachel Rohanna, a freshman from Waynesburg, became one of four girls to win a first-place medal. She shot a 79 on Monday, which tied her with Emily Riddle of Elk County Catholic, Victoria Arena of Mount St. Joseph and Kim Snyder of Nazareth.

Rohanna was prepared to play yesterday.

"I'm glad I'm a co-champion," she said. "The best part of my game (Monday) was my putting. It's usually the worst."

Upper St. Clair senior Megan Trachok, who finished tied for sixth, only three shots back, was ready to play with a rain suit and hat.

"Yes I wanted to play," she said, wearing her medal. "I was out on the range getting ready, and I'm really disappointed. One day is not enough for this championship."

Brittany Benvenuto of Neshaminy was fifth with an 81, one stroke in front of Trachok and Marisa Glew of Mars. Kate Scarpetta of Scranton Prep was eighth with an 83. Margaret Pentrack of Shady Side Academy and Sarah Bejgrowicz of Manheim Township finished tied for ninth.

Among the boys, Christian Goetz of Burgettstown and T.J. Howe of Northern Tioga won first-place medals with scores of 72. Jason Bernstein of Conestoga was third with a 74, and Bennett Boyer of Millersburg, Shane Miller of Penn-Trafford and Chad Warmbein of Peters Township tied for fourth with a 75.

Jim Markovitz of South Fayette and District 3's Zak Drescher of Hempfield were in a six-way tie for a seventh-place medal (76), along with Zach Fischl of Northampton, Brian Belden of Emmaus, Clayton Shadeck of Clearfield and Zach Smith of Central Bucks West.

Nic Milito of Greensburg Central Catholic, Andrew Wallisch of Fox Chapel and Derek Forese of Grove City shot 77.

Goetz wanted to play, but he said he said he understood the situation.

"I was on the waterlogged putting green," he said, "and I thought I had a good chance to win. But maybe the other guy would have won.

"Who knows?" Goetz said, with a smile. "We'll share it."

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