ARCANUM — The difficult conditions of spitting rain and a wet course didn’t stop area teams from having a big day in the Division III sectional golf tournament at Beechwood Golf Course on Tuesday.
Fort Loramie finished first, Botkins finished second, Jackson Center finished third and Lehman Catholic finished fourth. All four squads qualify for the district tournament, which will be held Oct. 4 at Beavercreek Golf Club.
The Redskins were first with 345, 26 strokes ahead of Botkins. It’s the team’s first sectional championship since 2001. Jackson Center had 379 and Lehman Catholic had 385.
Zach Pleiman led Fort Loramie with 78, which was good for second overall in the tournament. Mitchell Puthoff was three shots behind him, good for fourth overall. Eli Rosengarten shot 90 while Devin Ratermann had 96.
“I was pleased with the way our guys handled the elements today and happy that we got a win like this,” Fort Loramie coach Brad Turner said. “In five previous tournaments we’ve played in this year we finished second four times and third another. So we’ve been close, but just not good enough to win one. The guys picked a good tournament to get our first win.”
Nick Fischio led Botkins with 82, good for fifth overall. Alex Bajwa shot 94, Jameson Meyer shot 99 and Isaac Cisco shot 96.
Christopher Elchert led Jackson Center with 86, good for sixth overall. Trent Platfoot shot 89, Jordan Rizzo shot 98 and TJ Esser shot 105.
Lehman’s Cole Gilardi was first overall with a 74. He was the only player to break 80 on a day that started with rain.
“You just try to be really solid,” Gilardi said. “The big thing is I was trying to make sure I didn’t have any big numbers and I did that. I didn’t have any double bogeys. It was tough out there. I feel like I hit the ball pretty solid. I scrambled pretty well. I feel really good about 74. This will be my third year at district and I have played the course before.”
Mikey Rossman shot 94 for the Cavaliers while Alex Keller shot 99, Brandyn Sever shot 115 and John Gagnet 137.
“We lost two really good players last year in Tyler Lachey and Ryan Schmidt,” Lehman coach Eric Harlamert said. “This is a big accomplishment for the team to be able to get back to district.
“I am not really sure where the team stands, but Cole Gilardi has just improved and improved and improved. He has a real attention for detail and is a smart player. To shoot the score he shot today in those conditions, the kid is legit.”
The top four individual scores from players not on a qualifying team earned a district berth. Russia’s Drew Sherman was eighth overall with an 88 and earned the third of the four individual berths.
“I would just like to put two consecutive scores in the 80s together,” Sherman said about his district goal. “It was tough out there today. You just have to keep battling. You just had to keep hitting good shots. This will be great experience for me (to play at district as a sophomore).”
Houston finished seventh with 396. Cole Pitchford shot 93, Nathan Stangel shot 100, Collin Walker shot 101 and Jon Steiner shot 102.
Fairlawn was eighth with 401. Jackson Jones had a 96 for the Jets while Chester Hughes had 97, Kyle Peters had 102 and Skylar Piper had 106.
Russia finished 10th with a 443 total. Evan Coverstone shot 111, Grant Saunders shot 117 and Jordan Meyer shot 127.
Riverside was 11th with 455. John Zumberger shot 97, Brody Rhoads shot 113, Zane Rose shot 117 and Jaxon Heath shot 128.
Sidney Daily News sports editor Bryant Billing contributed to this article. Reach Billing at email@example.com.