ORANGE — Bill DeWitt was there at Grassy Hill Country Club for the first part of the CIAC Division I state girls golf championship meet. But then the head coach at Hall High had to leave.
It was his son Colin’s graduation from Newington High – postponed from the night before due to inclement weather. Bill DeWitt knew the possibility existed that he could miss Hall win its first state championship.
DeWitt said the moment his son’s name was announced at Dunkin’ Donuts Park – where the graduation was held – to when his cell phone started buzzing with text messages that Hall indeed had won, was almost simultaneous.
“It was almost to the moment. I had to walk away and come back,” DeWitt said. “I started to get all of these text messages from the Hall athletic director, the assistant AD. I hadn’t gotten any indications (prior about Hall being close to winning),” DeWitt said. “Obviously the emotions of that and my son, it was a lot.”
Freshman Anna DeSanto led the way with an 82 for Hall, which beat the heat and humidity to dethrone three-time champion New Canaan. Hall finished with a cumulative total of 349.
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“There were tears. It is such a great group of kids. This team has worked so hard,” said DeWitt, who met the team over at Rockledge GC in West Hartford, where the team practices, lter in the afternoon. “It was just a great day. You can’t write it any better.”
It was not only the first girls golf state championship, but the first golf title of any kind for Hall since 1977.
DeSanto’s 82 was the third-best individual score overall. Teammate Meredith Norton shot an 87, followed by Sarah DeSanto (88) and Carolyn Alquist (92).
“This is a very focused, hard-working group. It’s nice to see all of their hard work pay off in this manner for them,” Hall assistant coach Eric Fisher said.
Catarina Petrovic made it an All-Central Connecticut Conference sweep. The Farmington sophomore fired a 4-over-par 74 to win the individual title by six strokes over Trumbull’s Jensie-Rose Nicholas.
Petrovic — the niece of former PGA Tour pro and University of Hartford standout Tim Petrovic — said she had walked the Grassy Hill CC course once to develop a game plan.
“This course, you have to land it in certain areas to have a better approach shot,” Catarina Petrovic said. “I was calm, kept pretty level-headed throughout. I think a positive mindset was pretty much the reason why I was able to stay good the entire time. The heat was pretty bad, but I was able to handle it.”
New Canaan was coming off winning the FCIAC championship for the fourth straight time. The Rams’ last state title was in 2019, so some of the faces were different than two years ago.
“For them to come out and get second place, I couldn’t be more proud of them.” New Canaan coach Priscilla Schulz said. “Hall deserved it, they played lights out today.”
New Canaan finished with a 363 total, led by Stirling Legge’s 88. Amity placed third (374), followed by Trumbull (382) and Fairfield Ludlowe (385).
Glastonbury’s Caroline Cermignani and Southington’s Brooke Zajac tied for third place with 84s. Ava Gross from Amity and Sydney Hidalgo from Cheshire, the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament champions, both shot 85 to tie for sixth place.
This was the first year the sport of girls golf was split into two divisions. Woodstock Academy won the Division II title by four strokes over Berlin on Monday.
CIAC DIVISION I
(At Grassy Hill CC, Orange)
1. Hall, 349; 2. New Canaan, 363; 3. Amity, 374; 4. Trumbull, 382; 5. Fairfield Ludlowe, 385; 6. Cheshire, 386; 7. Glastonbury, 393; 8. Staples, 403; 9. Farmington and Greenwich, 410; 11. Newtown, 412; 12. Ridgefield, 413; 13. Fairfield Warde, 416; 14. Darien, 434; 15. Conard, 447.
Catarina Petrovic (Farmington), 74; Jensie Rose-Nicholas (Trumbull), 80; Anna DeSanto (Farmington), 82; Caroline Cermignani (Glastonbury), 84; Brooke Zajac (Southington), 84; Ava Gross (Amity), 85; Sydney Hidalgo (Cheshire), 85; Meredith Norton (Hall), 87; Stirling Legge (New Canaan), 88; Sarah DeSanto (Hall), 88; Morgan Peterson (Glastonbury), 88; Anna Lemcke (Staples), 90; Julia Bazata (New Canaan), 90; Caroline Cadelina (Amity), 91; Jasmine Shtufaj (Darien), 91; Molly Mitchell (New Canaan), 92; Carolyn Alquist (Hall), 92; Alex Boyce (Ludlowe), 92; Mia Hidalgo (Cheshire), 93; Amanda Vigano (New Canaan), 93; Rachel Shepherd (Fairfield Warde), 93.