It was a very bittersweet day for the Warhawks in the WIAA sectional tournament last week at Hidden Glen when junior Phillip Johnson advanced to the state tournament with an 18-hole score of 77, while senior teammate and North Shore Conference medalist Jakob Garstecki missed out on a berth when he carded a score just one shot worse that Johnson's.
"Yes, bittersweet indeed," veteran Warhawks coach Gary Anderson said. "I am so happy for Phillip. As our team captain, he has done so much for the team this year. His leadership has been a huge benefit for me and the team. He works at his game as hard as anyone I have ever coached. This will be his second visit back to Madison and I am excited for his chances to show what he can do on the big stage."
Johnson played at state on Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge in Madison.
The two scores, Johnson's 77 and Garstecki's 78 led the Warhawks to a fourth place score of 328 in the sectional as North Shore champion Cedarburg claimed the team title with a 306 mark and Homestead earned the other state team berth with a 320.
"(I'm) disappointed, obviously, for Jakob," Anderson said. "We have never had a four-time state qualifier in golf and I thought that this would be the year. Mike McDonald went three times as well. Jakob knew what he needed to do with about four holes to play. But he made a double bogey on the par three 17th, which sealed his fate.
"At that moment, I think we both knew it was going to be tough to advance. I am very proud of the career that Jakob had at Gtown and the many records he set."
Other scores for the Warhawks included Kevin Brown 86, and Mike Mueller and Logan Sterns 87 apiece.
Senior Brendan Paule came "this" close to medaling in the WIAA sectional tournament at Wanaki last week, as the senior lost a playoff to Waterford's Zach Nash after carding a terrific 18-hole score of 71 and earning a state individual berth in the process.
Paule, who was a member of the Indians' state team qualification effort from last season, played at the state tournament held at University Ridge in Madison on Monday and Tuesday.
"Brendan is really excited to be here," Indians coach Tony Pritchard said. "He has worked the hardest of any player I've had in my coaching career. He's turned into a student of the game. He enjoys the process of improving his game, of self assessing and then taking steps to improve the areas he may have missed the mark on previously.
"Other coaches and players have been supportive, knowing that our team might not have the same magic as last year, they have (still) been congratulating me and Brendan really sincerely."
Paule's efforts led the Indians to an eighth-place showing of 330 in the very deep sectional as Greater Metro Conference champion Brookfield Central won with a 300 even score and Waterford beat Waukesha West in a tiebreaker for the second state team berth after both squads carded scores of 311.
Pritchard was certain that Paule was going to do well in Madison.
"Brendan is regarded as one of the best players in our area and he comes to Madison feeling no pressure," Pritchard said. "Just excitement to tee it up Monday morning and go as low as he can. He enjoys this golf course and is ready for the challenge. For me this is the end of a great chapter in Menomonee Falls golf history.
"Four years ago when this skinny little freshman started his first varsity match this is the result I was hoping for (at the end). I wanted the state to see just how good he could be. And now, having started every varsity meet for four seasons, I want the best for him both in golf and in life. He has really left a positive footprint on our program."
Other sectional scores for the Indians included Brandon Cole with an 84, Trevor Estock with an 86, Brad Kaiser 89 and Austin Fuiten 90.
Both Warhawks entries won first round matches at the WIAA State Tournament on May 30 at Nielsen Stadium in Madison and that was the highlight of an already successful, arguably best-ever season for Germantown.
"(Junior) Ben Wait won his first round match against Arrowhead in a well played match and than lost to Homestead," coach Jeff Stodola said. "Ben played very well in his first match and was a great accomplishment to get a victory in the first round. He finished the season 19-11.
"(Senior) Johnny McCauley and (sophomore) Eric Stodola served and volleyed well in their first round victory over Waukesha West before losing to a talented Eau Claire Memorial team in the second round," coach Stodola said. "They finished the season 15-11. It was a great experience for the players to play in and observe for a couple of days."
"I was very excited for Johnny McCauley who finished his high school career at state. He was a four year varsity player and has progressed through the doubles flights and played first doubles his junior and senior season ... going to state was the one thing missing on his high school resume which is now complete."
Germantown finished the season at 14-4 in dual meets with four tournament titles and sent players in singles and doubles to state for the first time in school history
Other individual season records included Ryan Stodola at second singles (17-9); third singles Logan Symes (19-6); fourth singles Karl Gardner (14-8); second doubles Matt Klaver and MikeWeber (19-4); and third doubles Brandon Sberna and Justin Luo (14-7).
The six seniors included Ryan Stodola (four-year varsity), Gardner, McCauley (four-year varsity), Klaver (four-year varsity), Weber and Sberna.
"They leave as the most decorated and successful senior class in Germantown history," coach Stodola said. "Their hard work and commitment to school, community, high school and to the tennis program has set the bar. ... (Because of them) we accomplished all of our goals this season as a team."
Senior Mitch Fox earned a tie for eighth in the pole vault to highlight efforts for the Warhawks this weekend at the WIAA State Meet in La Crosse.
Fox, who cleared a personal best of 14 feet at the sectional the previous week, still cleared a respectable 13-6 to tie for his spot as Green Bay Preble's Jake Wallenfang set a new state record with a vault of 16 feet.
His efforts gave the Warhawks one-half point, good for a tie for 53rd. Brookfield East won its third straight team title by edging Preble, 51-50.
Other efforts for the Warhawks included senior Ryan Lemke taking 17th of 24 in the shot put with a throw of 49-71/4 and then coming back to claim 20th in the discus with a toss of 133-6.
Junior Nick Holcomb was 20th in the triple jump at 41 feet-1/2 while senior Bryan McMichael was a respectable 10th of 24 in the high jump with a clearance of 6-2, a height a total of 10 athletes cleared.
It was a very disappointing end for a fine career for Warhawks 300-meter hurdler Jennifer Ellis at the WIAA State Meet in La Crosse on Saturday, when Ellis, in position to earn a coveted top six medal, hit the last hurdle just 10 meters from the finish line and crashed to the track, eventually finishing 10th in a time of 48.67.
Ellis, who had qualified third for the finals with a time of 45.87 in the trials on Friday, is the Germantown school record-holder in the event and was the leader of the greatest group of hurdlers in girls' school history. That trio included Sammie Gassner and Leah Wheaton.
Milwaukee Riverside's Valerie Thames wound up setting a new state record in the event at 43.04.
It was an otherwise positive experience for the Warhawks at state, as the 400 relay team that included Gassner, Erika Bethhauser, Bethany Laubenheimer and Jayne Bertieri just missed out on the finals in Friday's trials, taking 11th of 24 teams in the field with an excellent time of 50.11.
La Crosse Logan nicked the Warhawks for the 10th and final finals spot by just 0.02 of a second. Milwaukee King wound up winning the event in 48.51.
Junior Christian Almonte made the most of his state experience, as he advanced to the finals in the 100 meter dash in the WIAA State Meet in La Crosse on Friday and wound up taking eighth with a time of 11.28 seconds in Saturday's championship race.
Almonte, who said he had another great start in the trials Friday just like he had in winning the sectional race the week before, excitedly looked at the big scoreboard at the edge of the Memorial Stadium track and watched as other heat results confirmed that he had advanced out of the heats as the ninth seed with a clocking of 11.69.
Runners on Friday were blasted by hot and heavy winds that really slowed times.
Almonte's efforts gave the Indians one point, good for a tie for 50th in the Division 1 field that was won by Greater Metro champ Brookfield East for the third straight year.
Falls, with a junior-dominated team had a positive season highlighted by runner-up finishes in both the GMC relay and outdoor meets.
— Steven L. Tietz
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