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MITCHELL REPEATS AS DISTRICT CHAMP

The Mustangs will be looking to improve; River Ridge is second.

By Derek J. LaRiviere

Times Correspondent

NEW PORT RICHEY - The overcast skies made for cool conditions at Seven Springs Golf and Country Club on Tuesday morning in the Class 2A, District 14 boys championships.

Mitchell won the team title, earning its second consecutive district crown after walking away with the 2A-11 trophy last year.

Even with the realigned district and their best golfer playing below expectations, the Mustangs (318) outpaced runnerup River Ridge (329).

"Our (performance) was good and bad," Mitchell coach Rick Hyatt said. "Our low guys (Anthony Swinford and Mike Spinger) obviously did very well, but the other three didn't shoot as well as they're capable of.

"We'll definitely take it, but there's room for improvement."

Mitchell's Donnie Gabrelcik, the two-time Sunshine Athletic Conference golfer of the year, finished one stroke from an individual district title last season. Like many of his teammates, the junior had uncharacteristic struggles with his putter.

"I was surprised with our putting," Hyatt said. "The course was in great shape, but it seemed like we just had trouble adjusting."

Swinford and Spinger, who tied as runnersup to Gabrelcik at the SAC tournament, stepped up. Swinford, who placed ninth in the district a season ago with 78, broke through for the individual championship (72). Springer wasn't far behind in third with 74.

The Royal Knights will join Mitchell in next week's Class 2A, Region 5 tournament at Fox Hollow Golf Club in New Port Richey, led by Mike Stewart. After tying for the individual district title last year with 75, Stewart shot 77 Tuesday to spark River Ridge to finish fourth.

"(Stewart) didn't play his best golf," River Ridge coach Mike Marlin said. "He shoots under par at Seven Springs regularly."

Also advancing was third-place Gulf (338), featuring Jackson Raymond (76) and Ryan Gibson (82).

The at-large bids for the region tournament went to Dunedin's Michael Schermerhorn (84) and Adam Norris (90), and Tarpon Springs' Ryan Wahl (84).

* * *

A-13: Bishop's Dalton on to regionals

At Saddlebrook, Cambridge Christian's girls won a one-hole playoff to edge Berkeley Prep for the team championship after both teams finished at 389.

Ashley Zagers earned the individual title with a day-low 74, two ahead of teammate Alison Armstrong. Junior Elaine Donigan's 86 was the low score for the Buccaneers.

Carrollwood Day's Claudia Rami (83) and Bishop McLaughlin's Brooke Dalton (89) move on as individuals.

Saddlebrook Prep dominated the boys tournament with 279 - 58 shots better than Berkeley Prep. Saddlebrook's Ryoto Furuya (67), Won Jun Lee (67) and Joe He (69) had the day's top rounds.

James Donigan (78) and Michael Hoff (82) led the Bucs, who finished five shots better than Calvary Christian.

Individuals advancing were Cambridge Christian's Matthew Liffrig (83) and CDS' Nick Nugebauer (83) and Isaac Dieter (86).

Matt Baker, Times staff writer

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