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Warren golfers ‘Jank’, Dennis headed to state

Courtesy photo Warren’s Seth Dennis qualified for the high school state golf tournament earlier this week.

VINCENT — Hannah Jankauskas made golf history at Warren High.

The Warrior senior became the first girl at the Washington County-based school to qualify for the state tournament when she carded a career- and school-best 82 Monday at the par 70 EagleSticks Golf Course in the OHSAA Division I East/Southeast District Tournament.

Jankauskas, an Otterbein University recruit, needed to win a sudden death playoff hole on the first hole against Miami Trace sophomore Alyssa Butler to advance to Columbus.

“Hannah’s experience last year in a playoff was foremost in her mind and she was confident about performing well,” said Warren girls golf coach Andy Biddinger. “She hit a tremendous drive to put herself into a great position and then refocused after a poor chip.

“She got up and down to make a par which won the hole. Her mental toughness under lots of pressure was amazing.”

Courtesy photo Warren’s Hannah Jankauskas, center, qualified for the high school state golf tournament earlier this week.

Jankauskas joined Nick Ward, currently golfing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as the second individual player at Warren to compete at state.

On Tuesday at EagleSticks, junior Seth Dennis became the third Warrior to become state-bound

The two-day Ohio Division I State Championship Tournament on the Ohio State University Golf Course at NorthStar Golf Club in Sunbury is scheduled for Oct. 18-19.

During district play, Jankauskas, the daughter of Joe and Cathy Jankauskas, shot a 40 on the front nine and 42 on the back.

“Hannah had a very steady round with few highs and lows,” Biddinger said. “She responded to difficult holes well. At the end of the day Hannah faced two hours of sitting in the clubhouse lead with having someone tie the score. She got mentally refocused and into a great mindset of competing to win the spot in the State Tournament.

As a team, the Warren girls finished a school-best runner-up with 360 points to champion New Philadelphia’s 335.

Warren freshman Hollis Sturgill carded an 83; senior Zoe Miller, 88; senior Grace Wharton, 106; and freshman Jilliann Stemple, 115.

Randee Seevers-coached Marietta High was represented at district by freshman Trista Stanley (97) and junior Makayla Welch (99).

On the boys side, Dennis carded a 39 and 36 to finish with a 75.

“Seth punched his ticket to state with a gritted back nine to finish 75,” said Warren boys coach Nathan Evans.

Overall, the Warriors were second with 326 points to district champion Dover’s 309. After Dennis, sophomore Jacob Smeeks shot a career-low 78. Chance Weihl had an 86; Caleb Davis, 87; and Nathan Heft, 92.

“I thought our team hung tough all day,” Evans said.

Marietta was third overall in the eight-team field with 331 points. The Bryan Whittekind-led Tigers were paced by freshman A.J. Graham’s 77. Junior JB Wharff had a 91; senior Josh Sandford, 88; freshman Liam Ritter, 82; and freshman Grayson Herb, 84

At the Elks Country club in the OHSAA Division III Southeast District Boys Tournament on Sept. 30, both Waterford and Belpre concluded its season with a fifth and sixth place finish, respectively, in the 10-team field.

The Curry Ryan-coached Wildcats were led by senior Brooks Suprano’s 85. Freshman Gavin Brooker shot a 105; freshman Ryan Hendershot, 91; sophomore Braxton Leister, 98; and sophomore Peyton Powers, 101.

The Kyle Scott-led and Tri-Valley Conference champion Golden Eagles were paced by senior Eric Dotson’s 83; freshman Jacob Ferrier carded an 96; sophomore Matthew Deems, 106; senior Thomas Griffith, 102; and freshman Connor Copeland, 97.

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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