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Vaqueros rally with season-best 360 to finish third in Regional

The Vaqueros fired an even-par 360 to finish third in the Regional and earn their first trip to the State Finals in four years. From left, coach Chuck Melendez, Zach Steinberger, Trent Caraher, JB Jandro, Theo Andre-Fouet, Brant Schenk and Preston Gomersall.
The Vaqueros fired an even-par 360 to finish third in the Regional and earn their first trip to the State Finals in four years. From left, coach Chuck Melendez, Zach Steinberger, Trent Caraher, JB Jandro, Theo Andre-Fouet, Brant Schenk and Preston Gomersall.

With its postseason life on the line, SBCC rallied to shoot a season-best, even-par 360 in the second round on Monday and claim third place in the Southern Cal Regional men's golf tournament at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills.

The top four teams qualified for the CCCAA State Finals next Monday at Silverado Resort in Napa. The Vaqueros will be making their first appearance at State in four years.

The 36-hole tourney was played on two courses – the par-74 South Course in the morning and the par-72 North Course in the afternoon.

Mt. SAC fired a blistering 23-under 347 to take a 13-stroke lead over Canyons and Cypress after one round. Palomar had the last qualifying spot for the State Finals at 368. The Vaqueros were in sixth with 379, 11 strokes shy of a state qualifying berth.

SBCC sophomore Brant Schenk followed up an 80 with a career-best 5-under 67 in the final round. Freshman Preston Gomersall shot 76 and 68 and finished eighth at 2-under 144. The Vaqueros were first in the second round at 360, six better than Canyons and nine ahead of Orange Coast.

"Brant was playing well in the first round, he was 1-over after 13 or 14 holes and he ended up shooting 80," said veteran SBCC coach Chuck Melendez. "He said he ran out of energy. Then he clutches up and brings us home, beating his career best by five shots."

Jacob Montes of Palomar was the medalist at 7-under 139.

WSC champion Canyons won the nine-team tourney with rounds of 360 and 366 for a 4-under 726. Mt. SAC shot 38 strokes worse in the second round (347-385) but still finished second at 732.

The Vaqueros (379-360) were third at 739, one stroke ahead of Cypress (360-380) and two in front of Orange Coast, which finished fifth at 741.

"I'm so proud of my team right now," said Melendez. "We were 11 strokes out of fourth after the first round and I told our guys they all needed to shoot 3 to 5 shots better in the second round. We ended up passing three teams to get into third."

Theo Andre-Fouet shot a steady 148 (73-75) and JB Jandro finished at 151 (78-73). Trent Caraher added a 153 for the Vaqueros, who set new school records for conference wins and overall wins this year. They're 140-19 (.881) on the season.

"It was a total team effort," Melendez added. "They were very determined and I'm really proud. They've worked so hard all year and especially in the weight room. They're all good friends and they deserve to play in the State Finals."

Southern Cal Regional
At Los Serranos CC
1st round at par-74 South Course
2nd round at par-72 North Course
 
Team – 1, Canyons 360-366--726 (4 under par). 2, Mt. San Antonio 347-385--732. 3, SBCC 379-360--739. 4, Cypress 360-380--740. 5, Orange Coast 372-369--741. 6, Palomar 368-376--744. 7, Ventura 396-385--781. 8, Desert 391-390--781.
 Medalist -- 1, Jacob Montes, Palomar, 68-71--139 (7 under). 2, Felix Tsui, Mt. SAC, 68-73--141. 3 (tie), Myoung Kim, Orange Coast, 72-70--142; Dalton Davenport, Cypress, 72-70--142. 5 (tie), Nobuhiko Wakaari, Canyons, 72-71--143; Tyler Thurmond, Orange Coast, 73-70--143; Han Lee, Mt. SAC, 67-76--143. 8, Preston Gomersall, SBCC, 76-68--144.
 SBCC scores -- 8, Gomersall 76-68--144. 13 (tie), Brant Schenk 80-67--147. 18, Theo Andre-Fouet 73-75--148. 24 (tie), JB Jandro 78-73--151. 28 (tie), Trent Caraher 76-77--153. Zach Steinberger 76-83--159.
 SBCC overall record -- 140-19.