Lyons Township High School senior Wyatt Kartheiser had shot many solid golf rounds, but never under par until winning the IHSA Class 3A Payton Regional with a 1-under 71 on Sept. 30.
“I used to think going under par was hitting hero shots and birdieing on every hole,” Kartheiser said. “But now I understand you can just do what you do every hole and then your putts are going to drop and you’re going to shoot good scores.”
Kartheiser followed with two more below-par or par rounds, including on Oct. 8 during the opening round of the IHSA Class 3A state meet at The Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington.
LTHS (709) finished sixth overall in its first team state appearance since 2014, two strokes behind fifth-place Barrington.
Senior Will Caronchi (148) tied for 22nd and Kartheiser (149) tied for 24th. Also competing were seniors Michael Springer (155) and Gabe Newman (159), junior Jack Berry (162) and senior Colin Koch (164).
The team’s counting scores were Kartheiser (par-72), Springer (73), Caronchi (75) and Newman (80) on Oct. 8 and Caronchi (73), Kartheiser (75), Newman (79) and Berry or Koch (80s) on Oct. 9.
“The season was awesome. We did really well,” coach Brian Kopecky said. “It’s the ultimate because that’s the team goal every year, to play with the best in the state.”
The Lions earned the last qualifying spot at the Lyons Township Sectional with third behind the top two teams at state — Glenbrook North (575) and New Trier (578). West Suburban Conference Silver Division rivals Hinsdale Central (592) and Glenbard West (596) were third and fourth.
At sectionals, Kartheiser and Caronchi shot 3-under 69s. Springer was a 2019 individual state qualifier.
“We’ve had a lot of experience and [state] has been our goal all year,” Caronchi said at sectionals. “We knew we could do it, knew we could compete with the top dogs.”
Covarrubias competes at state meet
Riverside-Brookfield High School sophomore Mayan Covarrubias followed her best round with a great experience.
Covarrubias competed at her first IHSA Class 2A state meet on Oct. 8 at Hickory Point in Decatur. Her 101 missed the cut for the second round.
“It motivated me a lot. I want to get back to where I got and go farther and just do better,” Covarrubias said. “[RBHS coach Doug Schultz] really calmed me down and how only it was about the experience. He really helped me make sure I finished the round with a positive attitude.”
Covarrubias’ 79 at the Hinsdale South Sectional shared the final advancing score for the top 10 individuals not among the three advancing teams.
“I just felt like everything was kind of clicking for me,” Covarrubias said. “I made up shots I wouldn’t have made earlier in the year and just felt that I had a great round.”