BARTLETT – Clay Heilman didn’t need to worry about a playoff this time around.
Heilman, a St. Charles North junior, came up short in a playoff for medalist honors at the DuKane Conference meet last week.
As temperatures dropped Wednesday, the greens, in turn, played a bit differently. Heilman still prevailed for medalist honors with a 76 at the Class 3A South Elgin Regional at Bartlett Hills Golf Club.
“Today, these greens were rolling a lot faster,” Heilman said. “…Sometimes, it’s just nice to get a fresh start.”
Back at Bartlett Hills Golf, Heilman and his North Stars proudly stood with the Class 3A regional plaque, edging last year’s champion, Geneva, by a healthy five strokes, 318-323.
The Vikings, regional champions for two consecutive seasons, finished ahead of third place St. Charles East’s 337 by 14 strokes. All three teams now advance to the Oswego Sectional next Monday.
The North Stars, who also captured a regional title in 2019, lived up to internal team expectations throughout the season.
“In the beginning of the season, we thought we were going to be pretty good,” Heilman said. “We thought we could be here pretty easily. Right in the middle of the season, we were all a little down, a little burned out, but I’m happy to see we were able to come back and put a title [back] in our name.
Heilman led all golfers with his 76, followed by senior Mason Siegfried’s 80. Lachlan Bowen and Keshav Gupta both added 81 scorecards while Danny Rosengarten and Jack Van Laningham brought home 87s.
Siegfried’s last year’s regional medalist, agreed the team hit a bit of a bump in the season.
“I think it was maybe two or three weeks ago, we played some really good teams. We put up some good scores and that kind of helped boost us [to this point],” Siegfried said.
Van Laningham, a freshman, was called up into the varsity lineup for the first time earlier this week.
“I was very excited because I wanted to play varsity this year,” Van Laningham said. “Little intimidated by the field, [but] I was feeling pretty good. I was ready.”
Teeing off at 8:30 a.m., Van Laningham took a moment to soak it in.
“I was thrilled to be here. [I bombed] it right down the middle. I had that confidence going…for me, it’s all in [my] head. If I have the confidence, I can do it. When I don’t I don’t. When I have the confidence going into a match, it’s going to be a good day.”
Geneva will again send its full team to sectionals. Austin Frick was second individually with a 78. Tyler Quisling (80), Ryan O’Rourke (82), Eli Sladkov (83), Jesse Balc (85) and Laksh Patel (88) rounded out their scores.
“Last year [Quisling] stepped up a number of times,” Geneva coach Eric Hatczel said. “He was pretty consistent in our top four, so to see him kind of battle through today [was great]. There were some really tough pins out there [and] he was striking the ball really well. [He] plugged our second score for the team, so that’s huge coming from a senior. That’s what you want to see.”
St. Charles East was led by Jack Evans (81), Gavin Hunt (83), Anthony Solare (84), Sean Haggerty (89) and both Jack Aird and Ryan Tomaszewski had 90.
Ten individuals qualifying for sectionals included Bartlett’s Trey Holly (86), Aaron Ryniec (93) and Hayden Walker (95), Glenbard North’s Sean Marnic (87), Shaan Patel (91), Michael Banish (90) and Luke Ruffolo (93), South Elgin’s Matt Murphy (89) and Nick Heinrich (94) and Elgin’s Derrick Graves (88).