| Ames Tribune
SIOUX CITY — Ames will be sending one golfer to the Class 4A state meet this weekend.
Senior Sam Vertanen qualified after finishing medalist-runner up at the 4A district meet Monday at the Whispering Creek Golf Club in Sioux City.
“It would’ve been an extreme disappointment for him not to make it with the year he’s had,” Ames head coach R.J. Vos said. “He’s one of the best kids I’ve ever had the privilege to coach.”
Vertanen shot an impressive 4-over-par score of 76 over 18 holes. Ankeny Centennial’s Jonathan Saddoris was medalist with a 75, and Sioux City East’s Ethan Spier also carded a 76 on the day to place third.
“He got off to a non-traditional Sam start and played really well on the first couple holes,” Vos said. “He did really well on the front nine. Holes 10 through 12 were brutal, but he settled into his round and made some really long putts to get him to par on a couple holes. He played tremendous golf.”
As a team, Ames placed fifth out of 12 teams with a score of 341. Johnston and Ankeny Centennial tied for first after each shot a 320, Sioux City East also qualified for state with a 324, and Dowling Catholic was fourth with a 326.
“We shoot 341 the previous two years, we would’ve made it (to state),” Vos said. “That was not the case this year. It just wasn’t our day.
Jay Vos came on big when it mattered most to turn in the second-best score for Ames at the meet. Vos carded a career-best score of 84 to tie for 18th place.
Derek Peng tied for 23rd with an 86, Jeff Swanson and Max Badding both tied for 41st with a 95 and, Sam Vander Wilt finished with a 102 to tie for 53rd for the Little Cyclones.
R.J. Vos is excited to see what Vertanen can do this coming weekend at state. The best individual performance he’s had as a coach in 21 years was a state runner-up effort by Dustin Atkinson at the Tournament Club of Iowa course in Polk City during the 2012 season.
“I know Sam’s goal is to win the state tournament,” Coach Vos said. “Is that possible? Absolutely. It’s his time.”
The 4A boys’ state golf meet will take place this Friday and Saturday at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.
Final team scores (18 holes): 1. (tie) Johnston 320 and Ankeny Centennial 320, 3. Sioux City East 324, 4. Dowling 326, 5. Ames 341, 6. Bishop Heelan Catholic 343, 7. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 361, 8. Sioux City North 367, 9. LeMars 376, 10. (tie) Lewis Central and Fort Dodge 399, 12. Council Bluffs Albert Lewis 541.
Ames (341) – 2. Sam Vertanen, 76; 18. (tie) Jay Vos, 84; 23. (tie) Derek Peng, 86; 41. (tie) Jeff Swanson, 95; Max Badding, 95; 53. (tie) Sam Vander Wilt, 102.