Competition too much for MHS boys

AMES – The Bobcats could not rise to meet the level of competition they faced Monday at the Turk Bowman Invitational, but coach Lucas Johnson hopes the experience will lead to such for his squad.

The Marshalltown boys’ golf team came in 11th out of 16 teams, shooting a season-high 341 team total while facing off with the best in Class 4A. Waukee, the defending state champion, won with a 1-over-par team total of 285, while No. 2-ranked Ankeny Centennial shot 304. Filing in behind those two elite teams were West Des Moines Valley (308) and Ottumwa (309).

“We played against our toughest field thus far,” Coach Johnson said. “Even though it may have humbled us a bit, I think in the long run it helped our guys to be paired with defending state champion Waukee and current No. 2 in the state Ankeny Centennial.

“We didn’t play our best, but we’ll need to have a short memory with our most important dual of the season coming (today) in Mason City. We’ll be playing at Highland, which is a course that lends itself to low numbers. So hopefully the guys who weren’t happy with their scores today can erase the memory by following it up with a great round.”

A win today at Highland Park Golf Course over the host Mohawks will give Marshalltown (2-1, 2-0) the Central Iowa Conference Northern Division crown. But it likely will demand a lower number than Monday’s outing, as Mason City shot 327 to finish eighth – 14 strokes in front of the Bobcats.

Connor Johnson led Marshalltown with a round of 82, while Brandin Chaloupek put forth another contributing round with an 85. Michael Schrempf finished in with an 86, and Sam Weatherman wrapped it up for the Bobcats with an 88.

Also playing on the par-71 Ames Golf and Country Club track were Beau Ragland (93) and Brant McKibben (105).

“Connor Johnson struck the ball well today,” said Coach Johnson. “He’s been working through some minor swing adjustments and I think he’s almost there. His driver was spot on, but he just found himself on the wrong side of some tough pin placements.

“Brandin Chaloupek had one of his better rounds as a varsity golfer and has had a counting score in two of our last three outings. It’s good to see him showing more consistency.”

Monday’s trip to Ames was Marshalltown’s first competition in a week. The Bobcats were edged by West Des Moines Valley, 157-159, seven days earlier at Willow Creek. The Turk Bowman Invite also serves as the first of three events this week for MHS, rounding out with Friday’s Joe August Invitational at 10 a.m. at Elmwood Country Club.