GRUNDY CENTER - Elliot Eggleston had to wait his turn.
But slowly and steadily he's made his way to the top.
Playing just his second season in the varsity lineup, the Grundy Center senior edged Gladbrook-Reinbeck's Jacob Smoldt in a one-hole playoff to claim medalist honors with a 9-over 81 in a Class 1A sectional at Town & Country Golf Club on Friday.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
Grundy Center’s Elliot Eggleston putts along the fifth green in Class 1A sectional action at Town & Country Golf Club Friday. Eggleston carded an 81 and won a one-hole playoff over Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Jacob Smoldt to claim medalist honors. The Spartans won the team title with a score of 339.
"It's been a long ride," said Eggleston, who led Grundy Center to its fifth sectional title in the last six years with a score of 339.
"I started out freshman year and hadn't played much golf. I've just kind of been working my way up through the years. I'm glad to see it's paying off."
Like his ascension through the ranks, Eggleston remained steady much of the way firing a 41-40 in his two rounds including an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole during his first trip around the course.
Class 1A Sectional
At Grundy Center
Town & Country Golf Club, par 36
Team Standings - 1. Grundy Center 339, 2. Gladbrook-Reinbeck 359, 3. AGWSR 361, 4. North Tama 367, 5. GMG 386, 6. BCLUW 400, 7. Colo-NESCO 424.
Individual district qualifiers - 1. Elliot Eggleston, GC, 81; 2. Jacob Smoldt, G-R, 81; 3. Chad Plaehn, GMG, 83; 4. Lane Bangasser, GC, 84.
GRUNDY CENTER (339) - Eggleston 81, Bangasser 84, Sam Thompson 86, Nick Saak 88, Ryon Appel 94, Nathan Graham 102.
GLADBROOK-REINBECK (359) - Smoldt 81, Logan Koester 88, Cameron Murphy 94, Bradon Trepp 96, Austin Harris 97, Bryce Ehlers 99.
AGWSR (361) - Owen Abkes 86, Kody Boheman 91, Hunter Wagner 92, Derek Schipper 92, Carson Lutterman 98, Lucas Beving 99.
NORTH TAMA (367) - Hunter Danker 87, Brandon Kaufman 88, Taylor Dinsdale 91, Jakeb Cochran 101, Tanner Mason 106, Bryce Hillman 109.
GMG (386) - Plaehn 83, Nick Niederman 96, Bridger Claasen 103, Ryan Spurlin 104, Luke Petty 109, Austin Vaughn 110.
Colo-NESCO (424) - Isaiah Texeira 89, Cole Ozbun 101, Zack Risdal 104, Austin Key 130, Cade Oswalt 139, Collin Reise 140.
That same level-headed approach helped the Spartans finish 20 strokes ahead of runner-up Gladbrook-Reinbeck after missing the cut for districts by four strokes a year ago.
"We have a fairly consistent group of guys," Grundy Center coach Dennis Dirks said. "We don't have the real knockout punch this year - somebody to go really low. So we depend on guys shooting between 43-45 and that's what we pretty much did today."
Lane Bangasser finished fourth with an 84, while Sam Thompson added an 86 as each member of the Spartans' top trio placed in the top five. Nick Saak's 88 wrapped up the team score.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck earned its fifth straight trip to districts as Logan Koester (88), Cameron Murphy (94) and Bradon Trepp (96) also figured into its scoring quartet.
"We've come a long way since the beginning of the year with not a lot of practice time," G-R coach Chad Bixby said. "I'm really proud of these kids."
AGWSR placed third (361) and will join the Spartans and Rebels in district play at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls Thursday at 10 a.m.
Owen Abkes led a balanced Cougars' unit with an 86 to tie Thompson for fifth.
Kody Boheman shot a 91, while 92s from Hunter Wagner and Derek Schipper completed AGWSR's team tally.
"A lot of our guys shot their average, which was good enough today to get us through," AGWSR coach Brad Hames said.
GMG's Chad Plaehn shot an 83 to place third for an individual qualifier bid. Plaehn and Smoldt were the only players to record sub-40 rounds with each firing a 39 on their second trip around.
North Tama's Hunter Danker carded an 87 to help the Redhawks (367) finish nine strokes ahead of the Wolverines for fourth, while BCLUW (400) and Colo-NESCO (424) wrapped up the seven-team field.
The top two district teams (three if host Don Bosco places in the top two) advance to the state meet along with the top four individuals including ties. ... Smoldt finished one stroke shy of a trip to state last year. ... Grundy Center is seeking its 10th trip to the big stage since 2000. ... Bangasser was an individual district qualifier for the Spartans last season. ... This year's state meet is at Lake Panorama National Resort in Panora.