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University High's Daxx, Janutolo qualify for state tournament

Jeff Birchfield • Oct 1, 2018 at 5:50 PM

BEAN STATION — University High didn't meet its team goal at the Small Schools Region 1 golf championships at Clinchview Golf Club, but it was a good day for a pair of individuals.

The Bucs finished runner-up for the second straight year, but this time, the margin wasn't close behind South Greene 318-353 in the boys' team standings. The Rebels doubled up with Peyton Humphries with a 4-over 76 beating teammate Hunter Hartman by one stroke for individual medalist.

It was a disappointing finish after University High lost by just two strokes to the Rebels the previous year. However, there was some good news for the UH golf program with Daxx Carr and Mattie Janutolo each qualifying for next week's state tournament as individuals.

Carr finished with an 8-over 80, while the other UH boys scores included an 86 for David Daniel, an 87 for Charlie Vargo, a 100 for Matthew Carr and a 102 for Vijay Ananthula.

"Heading down here, we had the goal to make the state tournament as a team. Unfortunately, that didn't work out for us," University High coach Justin Penley said. "Our guys have played well throughout the season. It just wasn't our day today.

"To have two different student-athletes represent us at the state tournament is very exciting for us. Mattie has been down there a couple of times already and that's impressive and we're proud of her. We're proud of Daxx as well. As a sophomore, we think he has a bright future ahead of him, and this should be a great experience for him."

Carr, who was the individual medalist at the district tournament, finished fifth individually in the region. He had some early trouble putting on the greens and adjusting to the course's Bermuda roughs before getting his round turned around.

"Early on, the greens were rolling slow because it was wet," Carr said. "Then as it (the temperature) started picking up, I was making some strokes back. When the roughs are a half-inch taller than normal, it's going to do a lot with your wedges. It's just a matter of adjusting and making sure your shots get close to the green."

Ricky Compton of North Greene and Ty Sauceman of West Greene also qualified as individuals.

GIRLS COMPETITION

Cumberland Gap, led by individual medalist Carley Downhour with a 3-over 75, won the girls' team competition 174-190 over rival Claiborne.

Mattie Janutolo of University High finished second individually with a 7-over 79. She qualified for the state tournament for a third straight year. She felt the way the undulating greens at Clinchview presented the biggest challenge for her.

"It's a goal I set for myself, although I would have liked to have had the low score, but golf is a crazy game and anything can happen." Janutolo said. "The greens here are very smooth, but the undulation of them can be tricky. I'm happy overall with the way I played and I'm excited to end the season in Manchester."

Hampton's team of Jayln Hill, Tala Pierce and Ashley Woodby posted a 235 to finish third in the team standings.

Lucy Shockley of Claiborne and Karius Tillman finished with rounds of 94 to qualify as individuals.

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