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A purr-fect ending

October 25, 2000

A purr-fect ending



Leopards duo gets dream finish with titles

By DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Writer


COLLEGE PARK, Md. - To say Smithsburg stole the show at the Maryland Golf Championships on Tuesday isn't telling the whole story.

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Even though they were not part of the team competition at the University of Maryland golf course, the Leopards had arguably the greatest day as a team in the history of the tournament.

Smithsburg's only male qualifier, sophomore Seiji Hirai, won the boys individual title. Its only female qualifier, junior Ashley Grier, won the girls individual title.

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It's hard to beat those percentages.

"We were talking about it, though not very seriously," Hirai said. "But we knew it was possible we both could win."

"We both had a really good shot," Grier said. "I thought both of us could win it."

The Leopards are only the second team in tournament history to sweep both individual titles.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Two-time defending Class 1A/2A team champions Walkersville finally relinquished its crown in one of the closest finishes in tournament history.

The Lions finished fourth in 662 strokes, four behind both Pikesville and J.M. Bennett and two behind Mt. Hebron. Pikesville won the title over Bennett on the first playoff hole.

"I've seen it that close, but not with that many teams involved," Walkersville coach Bruce Zimmerman said. "I think there were six or seven teams within 10 strokes coming into today, so it was up for grabs."

Doug Ogg (16-over-par 158) and Mark Angleberger (18-over 160) led the Lions. Eli Baltic, Walkersville's No. 1 player, was 171 in the tourney, while Gene Mills finished in 173.

"We're not pleased," Zimmerman said. "Our goal is to win the state championship, and we shot 22 strokes over our average. We expected to win the tournament, but we didn't play well this week."

Middletown finished ninth in 699 strokes, led by Travis Ausherman's 151, good for fifth in the individual competition. Chris Rhoades (177), Brian Miller (174) and Mike Allen (197) rounded out the team.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> In individual competition, Williamsport's Steve Miles finished tied for 50th in 21-over 163, while teammate Mike Griffee tied for 100th in 173.

Frederick's Justin Ellis tied for 30th in 159, Brunswick's Kevin Goode tied for 80th in 168, while Walkersville's Mike Melcher, who was not part of the Lions' team, finished 126th in 192.

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