Facing off with the top seed in the Division III doubles state tournament, Northland Prep's Joey Haertzen and Reilley Luedde fell in straight sets to the eventual state champions at Paseo Racquet Center.
The pair of Spartans lost to Thatcher's Dallin Cook and Logan McMaster 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals before facing off with a duo they will see again next week. Seeded No. 5 in the tournament, Haertzen and Luedde lost 6-4, 6-2 to Pusch Ridge's No. 3-seeded Christian Fetsis and Aaron Reese in the consolation final.
Set to play the No. 4-ranked Lions in the state team quarterfinals on Wednesday, the No. 5 Spartans will see a few of the division's medal winners from Saturday. Pusch Ridge's Preston Grammond won the state title in straight sets as the No. 1 seed, while his teammate's placed third in doubles.
Haertzen and Luedde, both juniors for the Spartans, led the way for a group of successful finishers for Northland Prep at the individual state tournaments. Sophomore Fred Gooding reached the state quarterfinals in singles and junior Adam Nicol came up just short of the quarters himself.
Wednesday's team quarterfinal match is set for 3 p.m. in Tucson with the winner advancing to Friday's state semifinals back at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.
Kellyn Taylor of Northern Arizona Elite last weekend at the Virgin Money London Marathon finished in 13th place with a time of 2:28:51, just eleven seconds off her personal best.
On Saturday at the 2017 USATF Half Marathon Championships in Columbus, Ohio, Aaron Braun clocked a 1:03:44 for a sixth-place finish, with teammate Stephanie Bruce taking the same spot in the women's race at 1:14:14.
The Northland Prep Academy golf team grinded its way to a fourth-place finish in the 36-hole High Desert Invitational played on April 28 and 29 at Antelope Hills Golf Club in Prescott.
The 2017 edition of the annual event drew a field of 19 teams, including six of the top seven schools in the Division III AIA rankings. Vincent Cortese and Simon Trebon of NPA each fired a two-day total of 155 to lead the team. Trebon won the tiebreaker to take fifth place in the individual competition out of 90 golfers, while Cortese finished in sixth place. Other Spartans scores included senior Garrett Kaiser, who shot a 192, while sophomore Brian Landauer and senior Devon Gussio each tallied an 18-hole score of 91.
Friday’s opening round was played in high winds that averaged 40 mph throughout the entire afternoon.
“The team played well despite the tough conditions” said Matt Bailey, Spartans coach and director of golf at Forest Highlands. “They competed hard and had great attitudes.”
Cortese opened with a round of 79 and followed with a 76 that included one birdie and 12 pars.
“I played consistent and my ball striking was good overall in the wind,” he said.
Trebon opened with an 81, but followed that with a 74 that included 4 birdies and 9 pars.
“I did my best to commit and played the shots to the best of my abilities” he said.
Northland Prep is on the cusp of school history as the golf program is nearing its first ever state championship appearance as a team. With one week remaining in the regular season, the Spartans stand in seventh place in the overall team rankings. In addition, they are in first place in Section Five with a three-stroke lead over Sedona. Cortese now stands in seventh place in the statewide regular-season individual standings.
The Spartans close out their regular season on May 3 in a three-school match at Elephant Rocks Golf Club in Williams.