12:46 AM EDT, August 28, 2013
Marriotts Ridge’s Nick Mejia isn’t wasting any time making a name for himself.
In just his second high school match, the Mustang freshman went out Tuesday at Waverly Woods and tied the county boys golf single-round scoring record with a four-under-par score of 31 points. He made five pars and four birdies, including a two-putt birdie on the final hole, while helping Marriotts Ridge to a convincing 89-24 team victory over Oakland Mills.
“It is my home course and the course was really scoreable today,” Mejia said. “I knew coming in that if I was hitting my driver well I could set myself up with some wedges and then it just came down to making some putts.”
Mejia made plenty of putts early on to put him in position to make a run at history. Playing the back nine, he jumpstarted his round with three straight birdies on holes 11-13 to quickly get himself to 3-under.
But, even with things going well, he made sure to not get ahead of himself.
“My main focus all day was just to stay focused on the next shot … the last thing I wanted to do was start thinking about records,” said Mejia, who says he wasn’t aware of the exact number he was chasing during the round.
“By staying in the present I think it allowed me to stay relaxed.”
Mejia came to the last hole, a par 5, still sitting three shots under par and proceeded to bomb his tee shot down the left side. He followed with an approach shot to within 25 feet of the hole and then a lag putt to within a few inches for the tap-in birdie.
“I really grinded through 16 and 17 to make some good pars and that set myself up nicely. I knew a good drive on 18 would mean a good chance at birdie,” he said.
The 31 points ties the boys mark set by Oakland Mills’ Donnie Shin in 2005. Atholton girls golfer Bryana Nguyen also fired a round of 31 points in 2010 as a freshman to set the girls mark.
Mejia’s big round, combined with strong rounds from fellow freshmen Jackson Courtney (23 points) and John Syzmanski (22), helped the Mustangs cruise to their second straight lopsided victory to open the year. Trevor Flach rounded out the team’s scoring Tuesday with 13 points.
Long term, Mejia says the sky is the limit for the program, which is just one year removed from capturing the 2A/1A state championship trophy. Sophomore Bennett Buch, the defending boys state champion, hasn’t played in a match yet this fall and the team is still pushing 90 points.
“With Bennett, the other freshmen we have on the team, these next three or four years are really going to be fun,” Mejia said. “I think we all feel like this is our time to capitalize on the hard work we have put in.”
Marriotts Ridge 89, Oakland Mills 24
MR (2-0): Mejia 31, Courtney 23, Syzmanski 22, Flach 13.
OM (0-2): Bailey 15, Clyde 7, Steplowski 2.
Atholton 91, Hammond 18
Behind a career-high 27 points from Chris Robinson, the Raiders became the first county team this fall to eclipse the 90-point barrier as a team. Max Rosenthal added 24 points, Josh Lewis had 22 and Nick Osterman had 18 to lead the charge past Hammond at Fairway Hills.
“I think everyone played strategically smart and that made a big difference,” Atholton coach Scott Robinson said. “We went out Saturday and had a practice round here and our assistant coach Ed Wasil really came up with a nice game plan for each of the holes. Everything came together.”
Through two matches, the Raiders sit as one of just two boys teams to have scored more than 80 points each time out. Coach Robinson says the key now is to find a way to keep building from here.
“Days like today absolutely build confidence, but the one thing we can’t do is become complacent,” he said. “We have to continue focusing on the next match and the next course … keep working hard.”
A (2-0): Robinson 27, Rosenthal 24, Lewis 22, Osterman 18.
Ha (0-2): McDonald 8, Edwards 5, Mitchell 4, Bondurant 1.
Glenelg 82, Reservoir 49
G (2-0): Segrist 23, Lee 22, Marcoux 19, Mikk 18.
Re (1-1): Kim 15, Vemulakonda 13, Cidre 12, DeBenenetto 9.
River Hill 76, Mt. Hebron 67
RH (1-1): B. Gold 23, D. Gold 20, Brown 18, Greene 15.
MH (0-2): Hardy 20, Stevens 19, Montgomery 17, Brookhart 11.
Howard 73, Wilde Lake 53
Ho (2-0): Crawford 21, Cherry 20, Park 18, Balter 14.
WL (1-1): Boccher 19, Brady 17, Brooks 10, Wilson 7.
Centennial 47, Long Reach 38
C (1-1): McShane 26, Hunter 13, G. Sterenberg 6, Andrews 2.
LR (0-2): Spotte-Smith 12, Gates 11, Bartolotta 11, Appler 4.