The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) crowned its boys’ and girls’ golf team champions in the 2A and 3A classifications on Thursday, as it held its annual WPIAL Golf Team Finals at Cedarbrook Golf Course.
The winner of each classification automatically qualifies for the PIAA Team Championships, to be held on Oct. 25 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
Fox Chapel swept the 3A Boys’ and Girls’ championships, marking the first time that has happened in 3A since Upper St. Clair accomplished the feat in 2005.
North Catholic captured the 2A Boys’ title, ending an eight-year reign by Sewickley Academy, while Greensburg Central Catholic extended its impressive run with a seventh consecutive crown in 2A Girls’.
The boys’ titles were contested on the par-72, 6,413-yard Gold Course, while the girls’ crowns were decided on the par-71, 5,200-yard Red Course. Boys’ teams played six golfers with their top five accounting for the team’s score, and girls’ teams had five golfers compete with four scoring for the team.
3A BOYS’ RECAP
One stroke separated 3A semifinal winners Fox Chapel and Central Catholic, but in the end it was the Foxes who would prevail by carding a 376 to the Vikings’ 377, capturing their second 3A crown in three years. The two were followed by Peters Township (390), Seneca Valley (402), Mt. Lebanon (402), and Mars (404) on the leaderboard.
Fox Chapel had the lowest individual on the day in senior Eli Yofan, who registered a one-under 71 to pace the Foxes. Sophomore Davey Fuhrer followed him with a 74 (+2), followed the senior trio of Zach Paper (76, +4), Max Johnson (77, +5), and Owen Delaney (78, +6). Fuhrer finished in a tie for fifth individually.
Central Catholic junior Rocco Salvitti led the Vikings’ runner-up effort, placing second himself with an even-par 72. Sophomore Christian Harhai claimed sole possession of fourth with a 73 (+1), with senior Carter Pitcairn (74, +2) and junior Connor Walker (75, +3) coming in right behind him. Central Catholic’s fifth scorer was junior Aidan Burchanti, who carded an 83 (+11).
Peters Township junior Austin Malley shared second place with Salvitti, also registering an even-par 72. Mars junior Blake Bertolo was part of the fifth-place tie after tallying a 74 (+2).
3A GIRLS’ RECAP
Fox Chapel completed the 3A sweep with a five-stroke victory over Peters Township, firing a 327 to the Indians’ 332 to win its first crown since 2010. The top two were followed by North Allegheny (339), Franklin Regional (353), South Fayette (356), Seneca Valley (362), Moon (375), Hempfield (396), and Butler (401).
Senior Nina Busch posted the lowest score for the Foxes, finishing fifth overall with a six-over 77. All four Fox Chapel seniors were their scorers, with Erin Drahnak (79, +8), Grace Rygleski (85, +14), and Baylan Bitar (86, +15) following Busch in what was a balanced effort.
Peters Township featured the individual runner-up in senior Allison Poon, who carded a four-over 75. Classmate Delaney Kern shot an 80 (+9) to follow her, with freshmen Brooke Vowcheck (85, +14) and Sophia Severns (92, +21) also scoring for the Indians.
Butler senior Paige Scott posted the lowest individual score with a one-over 72. Third place was shared between Seneca Valley sophomore Lihini Ranaweera and South Fayette senior Caroline McConnell, who both entered the clubhouse at five-over 76.
2A BOYS’ RECAP
North Catholic claimed its first WPIAL 2A Boys’ Golf Team championship, topping Quaker Valley by four strokes, 405-409. The Trojans and Quakers paced a six-team field that included Derry (428), Sewickley Academy (428), Waynesburg Central (430), and Carmichaels (431).
Senior Zach Cozza and sophomore Justin Kontul led the way for North Catholic, both sharing second place with a six-over 78. Junior Ethan Ellis finished right behind the duo with an 80 (+8), with classmates Tommy Burke (84, +12) and Erik Schneider (85, +13) rounding out the Trojans scorers.
Quaker Valley junior Eva Bulger also finished in that second-place tie with a six-over 78. Her classmate Jackson Bould was a stroke behind at 79 (+7), followed by freshman Ethan Dai and senior Kyle Rice both at 82 (+10). The fifth Quaker scoring spot was shared by senior Adam Tanabe and junior Adam Renner, as the duo each carded an 88 (+16).
Derry junior Hunter Jurica recorded the lowest score in the classification with a two-over 74. North Catholic is the first school other than Sewickley Academy to win the 2A title since 2012.
2A GIRLS’ RECAP
Greensburg Central Catholic collected its seventh straight WPIAL 2A Girls’ Golf Team championship, firing a 332 to win by 49 strokes over Central Valley (381). The four-team field also featured Mt. Pleasant (433) and Elizabeth Forward (439).
The Centurions claimed the first, third, and fourth spots on the individual leaderboard with senior Meghan Zambruno leading the way by posting a one-over 72. Ella Zambruno finished third with an 83 (+12), followed by sophomore Izzy Aigner (85, +14) and senior Olivia Kana (92, +21) rounding out the GCC scorers.
Central Valley junior Mya Mrkonja placed second individually, recording an 11-over 82 to pace the Warriors. Senior Kate Roberson registered an 89 (+18) and junior Kennady Norton carded a 94 (+23) to follow her, with senior Kendal Munaw netting the final scorer spot at 116 (+45).
Ethan Woy of the WPIAL contributed to this report.