OSKALOOSA — Newton’s boys golf team needed to be at its best to qualify for the Class 3A state meet.
And the Cardinals nearly made it without their best round.
Newton fell six shots shy of state on Thursday during the 3A district meet at Edmundson Golf Course.
“I am proud of the how this team developed throughout the season,” Newton boys golf coach Pat Riley said. “We continued to get better and became a very competitive team.”
The Cardinals finished sixth in the six-team field but the margin from the top to the bottom was 19 strokes and the difference between third and sixth was five shots.
“If you had told me before the season started that we would make the district meet and be six shots away from the state tournament, I would have thought you were crazy,” Riley said. “We had so many unknowns.”
Newton carded a 349 team score. Knoxville won the meet with a 330 and Oskaloosa (335) and Winterset (344) also advanced to state. Winterset advanced because the host school, Oskaloosa, was in the top two.
Grinnell (345), Pella (345) and Newton (349) rounded out the field.
Pella’s Will Simpson shot a 74 to win medalist honors and advance and Mid-Prairie’s Dominic McCain was the runner-up with a 76.
Newton’s Ethan Walker finished fifth with a 78. He had identical 39s for his two nine-hole splits.
Lincoln Ergenbright finished 13th with an 83 followed by Kinnick Pritchard (93) and Brody Cazett (95) as the final scorers and Braydon Chance (99) and Garret Beerends (109) as the non-counting golfers.
“We had guys step up and improve all season,” Riley said. “I enjoyed coaching these guys and look forward to those coming back next year.”