Top Red Devil golfers finish in top 20
Bartuch leads Central boys to earn seventh at state, Thornton comes in 18th for girls
Last updated 11/1/2019 at 2:37pm | View PDF
Last year the Hinsdale Central boys golf team earned its seventh state title, tying the record for most consecutive wins.
This year the team had hoped to establish a new mark.
"Ever since I got to Hinsdale Central, all we've done is won down in Bloomington," senior Jack Bartuch said. "That was obviously the goal. It was a different year, a different team. I would say it was a little more of a stretch this year."
Coach Jess Krueger agreed.
"Yearlong we wanted to get to the state tournament," he said. "Once we got there, I realized the boys wanted to continue the winning streak, but my expectation was to make it to Saturday."
And that they did, placing seventh with 209 strokes. Lake Forest High School won the state title with 169 strokes.
Bartuch was the team's top finisher, coming in 14th with 151 strokes. He ended play Friday tied for 26th place with 78 strokes.
"I thought he played very well, especially on the second day, made good decisions. Just a bad bounce and a bad swing - otherwise he would have been top 10, All-State," Krueger said.
"I was close," Bartuch said. "I played well the second day, which is a good way to end it."
The second day of competition is the one he said he'll remember - and not just because of his score. He enjoyed playing with Sean Curran, who's committed to play at Clemson, and Dominic Scaletta, whom he's been competing against since fifth grade.
"It was a fun round as my last high school golf event. It was just a great day, good conversation," Bartuch said.
Bartuch and senior Tom Clark were the only two golfers on the team with state experience. They were joined by juniors Drew McMillin and Shubham Nain and sophomores Jack Inabnit and Michael Spitzer (see full results on Page 45).
Injuries and other factors resulted in a state team that was younger than Krueger had envisioned.
"It's not the lineup I would have predicted coming in," the coach said. "I was hoping for a little more experience for a tournament squad."
He commended Clark for the work he did rebounding from a broken collarbone he suffered at the end of his junior year.
"Tommy started off slow and played extremely well," Krueger said. "I'm really proud of what he did and how hard he worked."
Krueger said the trip ultimately will be beneficial for the sophomores and juniors.
"They all learned how to handle state tournaments and state tournament pressure," he said. "It's not what they wanted, but I think it was a successful season for them."
"Even though we didn't meet our expectations, it was still a good day," he said. "It was a beautiful day. I would say it was a success in my mind."
Pair qualifies individually
Central freshman Sarah Thornton and senior Jessica Joy qualified individually to compete at the state meet, with Thornton finishing 18th. Hinsdale's Thornton said she had no idea as an eighth-grader that she would be competing at state her first year at Central.
"I just remember last year being worried if I would make the team or not," she said. "It was pretty funny after. I just realized how much my hard work over the summer has paid off."
She employed the same strategy at state that she's all used year - try to play every competition the same without worrying about the results.
"I'm just thinking about it like it's another day, it's another round," she said.
That said, she did feel the pressure, especially as the tournament began.
"I just remember the first hole, kind of just wishing it was over already. By the 10th whole, I was like, 'Wow, this is really going fast,' " she said. "I was really focused and so the round went by faster than I expected it to."
Coach Nick Latorre said Thornton is an impressive young player who stood out
at team tryouts.
"You could see the talent and focus right off the bat," he said.
Thornton said she appreciated her coach's assistance with club selection on the course.
"It really helped to have him out there and give me some advice along the way," she said.
"It's nice to have another opinion when it comes to that," Latorre said. "This is the first year for me that I've actually been able to do that, focus on only one golfer. Normally we have a team out there and I'm bouncing around from player to player."
Joy, who tied for 69th place on Friday, did not earn a spot in Saturday's competition.
Latorre said he was pleased both girls had the chance to compete and commended Joy for the role she played on the team.
"She really exuded tremendous leadership all year," he said. "I was really impressed with how she went about her business and led the team. Unequivocal team leader this season."
With her first state appearance just days behind her, Thornton already is looking to future meets.
"I'm hoping that I'll become better as my high school years progress," she said. "I'm just going to work harder this summer - and over the winter - and hopefully the results will show."
Scoring at state
Two other Hinsdale residents competed at the IHSA state boys golf tournament Oct. 18-19.
Fenwick senior Brad Domke and junior Jake Owens helped the Friars earn an eighth place finish in the 2A competition.
Domke tied for 54th with 166 strokes and Owens tied for 56th with 167 strokes.