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Seniors Swofford, Leiken are conference champs

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By Andrew Harner

Senior Blake Swofford was the individual champion and the Vandals placed a surprising second as a team at the South Central Conference boys golf tournament at The Rail in Springfield on Monday.

A day later, senior RaeChelle Leiken shot an 82 to take the title at the girls SCC meet at Litchfield.

She birdied the 17th hole and eagled the 18th to win by 11 strokes.

Roxana was the team champion.

Swofford shot a 70 (-2) to win by seven strokes. He hit an eagle on hole No. 15, needing just three strokes on the par-5, and made birdies on hole Nos. 4, 8 and 11.

Vandalia’s team score of 346 placed them second by seven strokes. Greenville won with a 339, and Hillsboro (350) and Carlinville (351) rounded out the top four.

Coming into the tournament, coach Brandon Taylor said he would not have been surprised if the Vandals finished outside of the top three, but was very pleased to see four of his golfers have a strong round on the same day.

Senior Zach Jackson shot an 87, missing all-conference honors by just two strokes.
Other scorers for Vandalia were senior Leyton Godoyo (93) and sophomore Jake Shulman (96).

Sophomores Zach Schaal (100) and Jake Bowen (103) also participated for the Vandals, who have two more matches before the regional tournament next Tuesday.

The regional will be held at Timber Lakes Golf Course in Mt. Olive, which feeds to the Carterville Sectional at Crab Orchard Golf Course on Monday, Oct. 8.

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Last Wednesday, Vandalia won at Ramsey, 163-196, in its lowest output of the season.

Swofford picked up his sixth individual first-place finish, shooting a 33 (-2) and hitting three birdies in the first five holes.

Ramsey’s Michael Lay was the second-place finisher, shooting a 40.

Schaal, Shulman and Godoyo each birdied hole No. 2 for the Vandals (8-14) in their final tune-up match before the conference championships.

Wednesday, Sept. 19
Vandalia 163
Ramsey 196
1. Swofford, VHS, 33 (-2)
2. Michael Lay, RHS, 40 (+5)
3. Shulman, VHS, 42 (+7)
4. Schaal, VHS, 43 (+8)
5. Bowen, VHS, 45 (+10)
6. Godoyo, VHS, 48 (+13)
7. Carter Hunt, RHS, 50 (+15)
8. Logan Stapp, RHS, 52 (+17)
9. Tyler Marley, RHS, 54 (+19)
10. Radley Wehrle, VHS, 59 (+24)