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MUSTANGS MAKE IT A ROUT

Northside Christian cruises to a 45-shot win, and A.J. Newell's 69 ties a school record.

Not long after Tuesday's Class A, Region 5 tournament at Westchase, Northside Christian coach D.J. Jackson talked for a bit about the youth of his team, which counted scores from three sophomores and a seventh-grader.

"The future looks good," he said.

So does the present.

The Mustangs didn't just win the event, they ran away with it. In claiming a fifth straight region title, Northside Christian finished with a 303 team total (a 45-shot win), the second-best single-day score in program history. A.J. Newell led the way with 3-under-par 69 that earned medalist honors and tied the school record.

"This course, it's a bit short and a little bit easier," Jackson said. "There wasn't much wind so the scoring conditions were perfect."

Berkeley Prep (348) was second and also qualifies for state. Ryan Ashburn of Indian Rocks Christian, who posted a solid 73, reached state as an individual, placing second among players not on a team that was first or second.

Michelle Butler (71), Anna Newell (76) and Danielle Grace (87) produced Northside Christian's other scores. Next week, the team will try to win its first state title since 2004.

"We all are so happy," A.J. Newell said. "We had so much fun at state last year."

At Westchase

Team scores: Northside Christian (303), Berkeley Prep (348), Academy of the Holy Names (392), Tampa Prep (453), Ridge Community (456), Lakeland McKeel (489), Lakeland Christian (489)

Individual state qualifiers: Erica Popson 70 (Ridge Community), Ryan Ashburn 73 (Indian Rocks Christian)

fast facts

State golf

When: Oct. 28-29

Class A: at the Club at Eaglebrooke, Lakeland

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