They walked up to the front of the crowd one by one to receive their plaques — a parade of the who’s who of Howard County golf.
Officially, it was the award presentation portion of this year’s state championship tournament at the University of Maryland golf course, but it felt more like a coronation ceremony for one of the state's newest hotbeds for high school golf.
Of the four championship trophies handed out Wednesday afternoon, three went to one of the county's individuals or teams. And, for a little extra icing on the cake, the county also produced three of the top four boys and three of the top seven girls individually.
Marriotts Ridge was the big winner, with freshman Bennett Buch setting a new state scoring record (138 – 4-under par) on his way to the boys’ individual title while also helping the Mustangs capture the 1A/2A team championship as well.
After losing first-round leads at each of the last three state championship events, Marriotts Ridge finally broke through thanks to a two-day total of 611. Glenelg ended up second in the classification at 634.
It was also a break through day for Atholton’s Bryana Nguyen, who captured the girls individual crown after finishing runner-up each of the last two years. Nguyen ended up sinking a 6-foot-putt on her final hole to secure a two-day total of 144 and a one-stroke victory over Wooton’s Delaney Shah.
The success stories didn’t stop there, though. Centennial senior Connor Flach fired a final round 68 on the par 71 course to earn a tie for second with Pikesville’s Matt Oshrine at 139. Wilde Lake’s Tyler Silberberg, who won last year’s boys state title, was right behind them in fourth (142).
On the girls side, Marriotts Ridge’s Rachel Lee was a huge part of her team’s success on her way to finishing fourth individually (148). Oakland Mills’ Samyra Lewis also turned in a strong tournament, finishing seventh at 161.
Buch’s post-round state after winning the biggest tournament of his golfing career was a perfect snapshot of a week for the history books.
“It’s going to take awhile to really sink in, but it’s definitely been an exciting couple days,” Buch said. “I came out, played my best and, this week, that turned out to be good enough. It’s a pretty unbelievable feeling.”
For expanded coverage from the state championship golf tournament see next week’s edition of the Howard County Times and Columbia Flier.
1A/2A teams: 1. Marriotts Ridge, 611; 2. Glenelg, 634; 3. Century, 649; 4. Kent Island, 663.
3A/4A teams: 1. Wooton, 603; 2. Urbana, 626; 3. Walt Whitman, 627; 4. Wilde Lake, 632; 5. Stephen Decatur, 634; 5. Northern, 634; 7. Bel Air, 640; 8. North Point, 653.
Girls county individuals: 1. Bryana Nguyen, A, 144; 4. Rachel Lee, MR, 148; 7. Samyra Lewis, OM, 161; 19. Marissa Davey, MR, 180.
Boys county individuals: 1. Bennett Buch, MR, 138; 2. Connor Flach, C, 139; 4. Tyler Silberberg, WL, 142; 21. Steven Segrist, G, 153; 21. David Yancich, WL, 153; 28. Michael Dorsch, MR, 156; 28. Young Lee, G, 156; 52. Rafey Iqbal, WL, 161; 52. Greg Leake, G, 161; 65. Matt Forester, G, 164.
85. Joe Dorsch, MR, 169; 94. Joe Boccher, WL, 176.