Senior Brendan Johnsen of Medicine Valley High School brought home the gold in the Class D Golf Championship. Quinten Chancellor also medaled with a twelfth place finish and the Raider team finished a strong third. Story and more photos on page 6. Courtesy Photo
Senior Brendan Johnsen, of Medicine Valley, brought home gold at the Nebraska Class D State Golf Championship last week in Kearney. This made Johnsen the first individual state golf champion in Medicine Valley and Frontier County history.
Johnsen shot a 151 over the two day tournament, good enough for a two stroke victory, and led the Raiders to a third place team finish. Also medaling for the Raiders was Junior Quinten Chancellor, who shot 175, tieing him for 12th.
Johnsen shot an opening round of 80, just two strokes behind first day leader Garrett Ring of Alma, who opened with a 78. Johnsen shot his 80 despite the fact he was three over par after four holes of competition. Johnsen’s 80 was good enough for fourth place after one day of competition and kept him close enough to the leaders so he could make a move on the second day of the tournament.
Johnsen really came alive on day two shooting an even par 71, the best round of the tournament by three strokes. The 71 was good enough to move Johnsen past three other competitors and into first place with a two stroke victory over Jay Cottam of Thayer Central who placed second. First day leader Garrett Ring placed third with a score of 155.
Johnsen had three birdies and three bogeys in his final round.
“Pretty amazing. It was a dream come true. I always had a dream as a kid to win the state championship,” said Johnsen about the victory.
This was the fourth year that Johnsen had qualified for the state golf tournament, the first player in Medicine Valley history to accomplish this feat. As a freshman he didn’t place; but as a sophomore he placed eighth; as a junior he placed thirteenth; and now as a senior, he is the Nebraska Class D Champion.
Junior Quinten Chancellor, also medaled at the meet, shooting an 89 in the first round and an 86 in the second to tie for twelfth with a total score of 175.
The Raider Team showed determination to finish in third place. In round one they shot a 376 and were sitting in third place, 29 strokes behind eventual team champion Thayer Central. In round two they shot a 352, besting their first day total by 24 strokes, for a team total of 728. Thayer Central won the team event with a total score of 682.
“We had a little disappointing first day but bounced back the second day. Brendan was down two strokes going into the final round and kept his composure. He played really smart. I’m proud of all the boys. Getting third was a big accomplishment. With hard work and practices this summer hopefully we can improve from third place next year,” said Coach Norm LiaKos about the championship rounds.