River Hill’s dynamic duo of Benjamin Siriboury and Helen Yeung accomplished a lot during their freshman campaigns last spring, including winning county titles and being named Players of the Year.
They never, however, got to experience what it’s like to compete as a team.
On Monday at the District V Championship tournament at Hobbit’s Glen, they finally got the opportunity, and it meant nothing but trouble for all the other schools in attendance.
Siriboury shot a one-under-par round of 71 to win the boys title by one shot over Centennial’s Dustin Stocksdale, while Yeung outpaced the girls’ field by 10 shots with a one-over 73. With that powerful combination leading the way, River Hill cruised to the team championship as well with a four-player total of 307 that was 12 shots better than second-place Severna Park (319).
It is the first time River Hill has ever swept the individual and team championships at the district tournament.
“Honestly, today was really fun getting to play for the team,” Yeung said. “Almost every tournament I’ve been in has been all individual, so knowing you are playing for more than just yourself is a lot different and also exciting. I wanted to win as a team as much as I did for myself.”
River Hill coach Matt Graves said that he no longer is surprised by his sophomore standouts and their ability to continue raising the bar for the program. But he also credited the team’s other two scorers — Nate Deiuliis (15th, 81) and Collin Regan (T-16. 82) — for doing their part as well to give the Hawks a complete team effort.
“Knowing that Benjamin and Helen are going to shoot right around par, it’s then about finding two other scores in the high 70s or low 80s range. Today that’s exactly what we got,” Graves said. “We showed today that we definitely have the firepower to make some noise at states, and I think that’s a big step for us.”
River Hill was one of four Howard County teams to qualify for states on Monday. Marriotts Ridge (fourth at 323) and Wilde Lake (fifth, 359) also made it in 3A/4A, while Glenelg qualified with a 351 total in 1A/2A.
Marriotts Ridge’s scorers were Daniel Tuma (T-8. 77), Sangmin Lee (T-10, 78), Jonathan Moon (T-18. 83) and Lila Becker (4. 85). Wilde Lake’s top four were Clare Bowen (T-7. 88), Shreya Suresh (T-7. 88), Jane Mhonda (13. 91) and Henry Hilger (92). Glenelg had a winning foursome in 1A/2A of Michael Gloth (T-12. 79), Megan Kirkpatrick (T-2. 83), Ellis Waak (93) and Amber Kostick (14. 96).
Additional boys qualifiers individually from Howard County included Stocksdale, Howard’s Jai Sheth (T-3. 74) and Reservoir’s Justin Gutierrez (T-5. 75). For the girls, Marriotts Ridge’s Alana Alexander-Giles (T-5. 86) and Long Reach’s Emma Koech (T-7. 88) also punched their tickets.
The state tournament is scheduled for Oct. 25-27 at the University of Maryland golf course in College Park.
It was evident from the beginning that Siriboury was going to have to earn his first district title.
The Hawks sophomore, playing in the top boys group, had a little bit of everything on his opening nine — three birdies, three pars and three bogeys. He spent the majority of those first nine holes trailing South River’s Connor Haley and Stocksdale, who bounced back from an opening bogey to make birdies on Nos. 2 and 6.
But once he reached the back nine, Siriboury made his move. He got himself under par for the first time with a birdie on the 12th hole and then backed it up with another on 13 to get to 2-under.
Haley, meanwhile, made back-to-back double bogeys to fall from 2-under to 2-over. Stocksdale played holes nine thru 13 at 4-over as well and suddenly Siriboury had a multi-shot lead.
“I just tried to play my own game and not pay attention to what other people were doing, not even the players in my group. I knew what I needed to do with my shots and I felt like if I hit where I needed to that I would be in good position,” Siriboury said.
Siriboury certainly carried up his end of the bargain down the stretch, including a clutch up-and-down for par from over the green on the final hole.
It turned out he needed that steady play because Stocksdale finished with a flurry. The Centennial junior birdied three of his final five holes to get himself back to level par for the round. He was down by five shots at one point on the back nine before closing to within one at the end.
“I actually said as I was walking to 14, after missing a short par putt on 13, that I needed to play 3-under coming in and hope he made a couple mistakes. I did what I wanted at the end, but he simply was too steady,” Stocksdale said. “And I know him well enough to know that he’s not going to beat himself, so it comes down to me not making as many mistakes as I did. That stretch from 9-13 killed me.”
Sheth ended up tying for third with Haley. The Howard senior was in first place early on thanks to a birdie on No. 3 that got him to one-under par, but three bogeys the rest of the way and no other birdies foiled his chances at winning.
Gutierrez, who was the only other Howard County player in the top five, was a nice success story after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the state tournament two years ago as a sophomore. His round was highlighted by birdies on hole Nos. 6, 12 and 17.
Yeung set the tone early on with a birdie on her first hole. There were a couple stumbles, including two bogeys on the front nine, but she showcased a steadiness throughout that was just too much for the other girls to keep up with.
The Hawks sophomore had one stretch of eight straight pars in the middle of her round.
“I was thinking about mostly playing safe today, really only going aggressive on the par 5s,” Yeung said. “It was a lot of hitting hybrids to make sure I was in the fairway and in good spots where I knew I could get on the green and make pars.”
Those pars proved to be all that was needed, as all the potential contenders around Yeung kept slipping further behind as the round progressed.
If not for a short-missed par putt on No. 17, Yeung would have finished at even par overall.
Kirkpatrick, also a sophomore, ended up tied with Arundel’s Angelina Hwang for second place. Her round was highlighted by a birdie on her fourth hole that temporarily got her back to even par for the day.
Marriotts Ridge’s freshman Becker also had a strong first district tournament, producing one stretch of three straight pars early in the back nine to aid her on the way to an 85 that was good enough for solo fourth place.
River Hill 3, Howard 1
Goals: RH — Maddie Vasilios 2, Jannah Nassar; Ho — Poppy Swallow.
Assists: RH — Puja Nanjappa, Vasilios; Ho — Gabbi Rabold.
Saves: RH — Jocelyn Baker 9; Ho — Allayna Martone 6.
Halftime: 2-0, RH.
Records: RH 8-0, 9-1; Ho 1-7.
Glenelg 1, Reservoir 0 (OT)
AJ Eyre’s goal off a penalty corner in overtime lifted the Gladiators to a win over the visiting Gators. Frankie DiValentin saved one shot to shut out Reservoir. The win keeps Glenelg in the county championship hunt.
Records: G 6-1; Re 2-5.
Wilde Lake 2, Hammond 1
In their third matchup against the Golden Bears, the Wildecats earned the one-goal victory. Wilde Lake won the first contest 1-0 in overtime, while Hammond got revenge in the second with its own 1-0 triumph. Sarah Hagighat and Bri Floyd scored to lead the Wildecats to the win.
Goals: WL — Sarah Hagighat, Bri Floyd; Ha — Charlotte Lamp.
Assists: WL — Meredith Sikora.
Saves: WL — Andrea Sikora 4.
Halftime: 2-0, WL.
Records: WL 4-3, 6-3; Ha 6-3.
Long Reach 2, Oakland Mills 1
Records: LR 2-5, 2-6; OM 0-8.
Mt. Hebron 3, Centennial 0
Records: MH 4-5, 6-5; C 1-7.
Howard def. Centennial — 3-0 [25-18, 25-23, 25-12]
The Lions improved to 8-0 with the sweep of the host Eagles. Howard was led by Corinne Chau and Kelenna Onukwugha, who totaled 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Tyller Williams chipped in with eight kills and two blocks.
Howard stats: Corinne Chau (15 kills), Kelenna Onukwugha (13 kills, 1 ace), Tyller Williams (8 kills, 2 blocks), Sanaya Srivastava (3 kills, 2 blocks), Ayanna Pharoah (39 assists), Briana May (24 digs, 5 assists).
Records: Ho 8-0; C 6-2.
SATURDAY, OCT. 2
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY:
Great American Cross Country Festival
At the race in Cary, North Carolina, Howard finished third in the highly competitive race. The Lions’ top five runners broke the school record with an average time of 18:56 in the 5,000-meter race. Nimrit Ahuja was the top Howard harrier, crossing the line in 18:41. Kiley Mann finished in 18:43, which broke Howard’s sophomore school record.
Results: 28. Nimrit Ahuja, 18:41; 31. Kiley Mann, 18:43; 43. Jasmine Wilson, 19:01; 44. Elizabeth Holcombe, 19:03; 50. Hannah Schwab, 19:14.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY:
Great American Cross Country Festival
Senior Joey Raudabaugh set Howard’s school record in the 5,000-meter run by breaking the tape in 15:33. Raudabaugh won the seeded invitational race, while the Lions finished 10th as a team.
Results: 1. Joey Raudabaugh, 15:33; 68. Makilan Balasubramanian, 17:12; 71. Christopher Mann, 17:15; 75. Nicholas Yankle, 17:22; 78. Ryan O’Byrne, 17:24.
Don’t see scores or stats from your favorite team? Send results and any game information to Jacob Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.