Yorkville’s Evan Dill, Neuqua Valley claim Class 3A Oswego Regional titles

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With four teams in serious contention for three spots in Monday’s Class 3A Pekin Sectional at Lick Creek, Yorkville’s Evan Dill had a job to do.

He delivered.

While Neuqua Valley (321) used balance to win Tuesday’s 10-team Oswego Regional at Blackberry Oaks in Bristol, Taylor Hollinghaus came in with a 79 to help Plainfield North (325) finish second. Dill’s even-par 72 allowed Yorkville (333) to slip past Oswego (334) for the final qualifying berth.

Oswego had four of the 10 advancing individuals, Bolingbrook three, Plainfield South two and Plainfield East one. Yorkville’s Fred Washburn finished second with 77 and Plainfield South’s Isaiah Pina was third at 78.

Each team counts four scores, and Neuqua’s ranged from 79 to 81, with Ian Langton’s 79 leading.

“This definitely is the most balance we’ve had,” Langton said. “That’s always good.

“This was our first tournament win of the year. We can shoot better than this, but before this, we hadn’t put it all together.”

The Wildcats, who also counted Steven Grabowski (80), Anders Nelson (81) and Jimmy Roach (81), finished 10th at state last year.

“We would definitely like to make a repeat trip,” Langton said.

Plainfield North is headed to its third straight sectional, thanks in no small part to Hollinghaus and Greg Rash, who shot 38 on the back nine for an 81. Patrick Butler and Ben Roth had 83s.

“We thought we were capable of getting out,” Hollinghaus said. “Lick Creek will be a tough course, but if we can shoot 315 to 320, which I think we can, we will have a shot at state. But it’s a matter of being able to stand up to the pressure.”

Dill, who will play next fall at Illinois Wesleyan, and his teammates had bigger plans for the regional than barely surviving.

“Surviving, that’s a good word for it,” he said. “We might have been cocky. We thought we had this in the bag. We’ve been shooting well, we won our conference and we know this course real well.

“I’ve played hundreds of rounds here. You’d think I know every shot, every green, the speed of every putt. But they put pins in tough spots, and that drove the scores up.”

Mark Biegalski (90) and Brett Horton (94) also counted for Yorkville.

Dill, who shot 2-under 34 on the front nine, said he had a “very up-and-down round” en route to medalist honors. “I eagled 16 (a par-5) and turned around and doubled 18 (a par-4). I lost my focus in the middle of the round, then I got it back, until 18.”

Yorkville earned its second straight sectional berth, Dill his fourth. He has qualified for state twice, including 2012.

“I got off to a very rough start last year and then they canceled the second round,” he said. “I tied for 33rd.

“Sometimes an experience like that, and this one, can give you more motivation. I know my teammates could have shot better (Tuesday), but we still got through.”

It’s all about surviving.

Individuals advancing to Pekin include, Oswego’s Tom Carnaghi (81), Kit Rogers (84), Jeff Manna (84) and Zach Manzella (85); Bolingbrook’s Adam D’Virgilio (82), Paul Kramolisch (84) and Jacob Nagel (87); Plainfield South’s Pina (78) and Brian Ward (89); and Plainfield East’s John Zeedyk (84).

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