BERLIN >> Barlow took home the CIAC division II boys golf championship on Monday by shooting a 313 (+25) at Timberlin Golf Course.
This is the third state championship for the Falcons but the first time they are bringing their own trophy back to Redding since 1982 when they shared the D-II title with Suffield. The other championship came in 1978.
“This is great,” Barlow senior and co-medalist Michael Brown said. “We were really excited to play today, we’ve had a really good season and wanted to end strong.”
Brown tied for a match-low score of 74 (+2) with Spencer Olson of Bethel. Pierce Beach and Jimmy Stablein were part of a four-way tie for fifth at 78 (+6) for the Falcons. Jake Sullivan shot an 83 (+11) to round out the Barlow scoring.
“We had a pretty solid team,” Barlow coach Steve Antal said. “We had pretty consistent scores throughout the year. We had a very good season in our league (the SWC), which was pretty tough. And we had one-through-six guys that could pretty much score for us.
“(It was) great competition here in Division II. I’m just glad our guys shot well today.”
Berlin, which was playing on its home course, and Notre Dame-West Haven tied for second with a combined 317 (+29) on a sunny and windy day in Berlin.
“That’s both an advantage and a disadvantage,” Berlin coach John Line said of the weather. “We know the course so if we get into trouble we know what to do. But it’s also a lot of pressure on us.”
Despite knowing the course better than the rest of the teams, Berlin played tough just as Line expected.
“[The scores were] higher than you normally see,” Line said. “But this is Timberlin. It plays tough. It’s a great evener. People come in here after playing somewhere else and expect to tear it up and then they stumble. It’s a fair test. It demands all sorts of shots and you have to know them.”
Finn Boynton was in the last group of the day for Notre Dame-West Haven and when he came off the course chatter began to rise that there was a tie, concluding a solid season for the Green Knights.
“It’s kind of the story of our season,” Notre Dame-West Haven coach Steve Kirck said. “We lost six matches by a combined 12 shots and we come up here and put ourselves in a position to possibly win and just come up short. I’s kind of like a microcosm of our whole season.”
“Second place out of this field is impressive and it completes a great three year run of our golf program,” Kirck said. “We won it two years ago. We finished second last year and second this year. So I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. They gave me all they could give me and just came up a little bit short.”
The heavy rain on Sunday night slowed down the greens on Monday, but it played right into Brown’s hands early on.
“I birdied the second hole,” Brown said. “And also the eighth hole. So I was one-under after those two, because I had a couple bogeys. But I got off to a good start and I fed off the positivity. I didn’t really worry about my score too much and I also started off the back nine pretty well with a couple pars.
“Bit of a rough finish,” Brown said. “But overall I was pretty consistent today.”
Between the green of hole 15 and the tee box of 16, there was a bit of a logjam at points allowing the players to rest. But it was also a time when a couple Barlow teammates were able to chat and realized it was a solid day all around.
“There was about a 10 minute wait,” Brown said. “The three who was in front of me, Jimmy [Stablein] told me he was playing pretty well, he was 5-over at the time. And also when I was waiting on the tee at 15 our No. 1 came in and he said he was playing pretty well as well — it was pretty good at that point.”
The top three individual finishers — Brown, Olson and Jake Avery from Avon — each qualified for the New England tournament.
CIAC Division II golf championship
Team results: 1. Joel Barlow 313 (+25); T2. Berlin, Notre Dame-West Haven 317 (+29); 4. Avon 319 (+31); 5. Masuk 328 (+40); 6. Watertown 334 (+46); 7. Wethersfield 337 (+49); 8. RHAM 346 (+58); 9. Pomperaug 347 (+59); 10. Bethel 352 (+64); 11. Woodstock Academy 356 (+68); 12. Branford 357 (+69); 13. E.O. Smith 359 (+71); 14. Platt 361 (+73); 15. Guilford 364 (+76); 16. Jonathan Law 367 (+79); 17. Brookfield 380 (+92); 18. Lyman Hall 385 (+97); 19. Platt Tech 406 (+118); New Fairfield 415 (+127).
Top individuals: T1. Michael Brown, Joel Barlow 74 (+2); T1. Spencer Olson, Bethel 74 (+2); 3. Matthew (Jake) Avery, Avon 75 (+3); 4. Daniel Boynton, Notre Dame-West Haven 76 (+4); T5. Pierce Beach, Joel Barlow 78 (+6); T5. Jimmy Stablein, Joel Barlow 78 (+6); T5. Christopher Ayers, Wethersfield 78 (+6); T5. Brandon Funari, Berlin 78 (+6); T9. Matthew Manjos, Masuk 79 (+7); T9. Michael Izzo, Notre Dame-West Haven 79 (+7); T9. William Friday, Berlin 79 (+7); T9. Alexander Ruxer, Notre Dame-West Haven 79 (+7); T9. Anthony Guerrera, Watertown 79 (+7); T9. Tyler Hahn, Avon 79 (+7); T9. Ryan Sember, Branford 79 (+7); T9. Ricky Nappi, Berlin 79 (+7); T17. Ryan Gorman, Avon 80 (+8); T17. Jason Hirschauer, Pomperaug 80 (+8); T17. Ryan Simmeth, Masuk 80 (+8); T20. Peter Cosmedy, Masuk 81 (+9); T20. Justin Park, Berlin 81 (+9).