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Leopards have MVAL down cold

October 24, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

Survival.

The best word to describe what golfers tried to accomplish during the MVAL Antietam Conference Invitational on Monday at Beaver Creek Country Club.

On a day more suitable for snowmaking, ski hats, gloves, earmuffs and any other clothing needed for warmth prevalent.

And to be expected with cold, blustery conditions, scores were elevated.

"It was awful ... just completely awful out there," said Williamsport's Andrew Duff, who mushed his way into the clubhouse with a 13-over par 85 to finishe in a tie for third among medalist scores.

Smithsburg claimed its third consecutive Antietam team title, edging out Williamsport, 355-357.

Sean Henson led the Leopards with an 84, followed by Alicia Grier with an 85, Brandon Keefer posted an 87 and A.J. Minnich and Paul Stavrakas each had 99. The top four scores counted in the standings

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Brunswick - led by medalist Andy Alger's 77 - finished third at 360, followed by North Hagerstown (387), Boonsboro (389), South Hagerstown (400), Catoctin (401) and Clear Spring (452).

"I'm happy for the seniors they got a title under their belt," said Smithsburg coach Dan Neff. "Under the conditions, they all hung in there pretty good. You had to be mentally tough on a day like this."

Grier, one of four Washington County golfers heading to the Maryland state tournament today at the University of Maryland, could only hope Monday helped prepare for today's conditions, expected to be similar at College Park.

"I was just trying to keep warm all day," said Grier, who started her round with three pars. "It was just miserable ... freezing, cold, uncomfortable. I just didn't want to beat myself up."

Alger, a senior, notched three birdies on the front nine to come in with a 1-over 37. After missing a birdie on the par-5 15th, he bogied 16 and 17 before finishing off 18 with a bird to end 5-over.

It was a fitting conclusion to his prep career, having missed out on a qualifying spot in the state tournament.

"It's a good way to end," he said. "This was probably the coldest day I've played golf in."

Duff, along with Grier, North Hagerstown's Steve Hutzell and Boonsboro's Caleb Hudlow, compete in the two-day state tournament.

"You just want to be smarter (today) on club selection and the types of shots," said Duff. "I didn't expect it to be this bad. You just block this out, put it away and look for a better tomorrow.

Alger also won the Antietam Conference Sportsmanship Award and Grier was named the Antietam Golfer of the Year.

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