YORK – Mariano Medico has set the pace for Wyoming Valley Conference golfers all season.
So it's probably no surprise that the Holy Redeemer junior is just one shot back at the PIAA Class 2A Golf Championships after the first day of action at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center.
Medico, who won the Tryba Preseason Invitational, the WVC Pre-District Tournament and the District 2 Class 2A Tournament, carded a 2-over par 73 on Monday and trails Alex Patricio of Yough and Cole Miller of Northwestern Lehigh after the tournament's first 18 holes.
He played solid, he had a good day out there Holy Redeemer coach Art Brunn Jr. said of Medico. He shot a 73 in some windy, tough conditions … I'm excited to see how it's going to turn out.
Medico will try to become the first state champion in any sport in Holy Redeemer school history and the second state champion from the WVC in golf in the last three years when he tees off this morning. Pittston Area's Brandon Matthews won a state title in 2010. The last state champion from the area prior to Matthews was Ted Tryba from Hanover Area in 1983.
Medico, who placed seventh at last week's East Regional Tournament to qualify for states, started his day with a pair of pars on the first two holes before hitting a bogey on No. 3. He rebounded by nailing a birdie on the next two holes, including needing just two strokes on the par-3 No. 5. He was the only participant in the Class 2A event to hit a two on that hole. Of all four tournaments – boys and girls 2A and 3A – only one other player carded a two on the hole.
A double bogey on the par-4 No. 9 set the Redeemer athlete back a little as he closed the front nine with a 37, tied for fifth. But he rebounded to shoot par on the back nine on all but one hole -- when he bogeyed No. 15 -- while other golfers ahead of him on the leaderboard didn't fare as well. His 36 on the last nine holes was the second-best score among his competition.
When Matthews won his gold medal, he was two shots off the lead after the first day and was in second place on the same golf course.
Also in Class 2A and representing District 2, Lakeland's Mike Thomas is tied for ninth after carding a 78.
Scranton Prep sophomore Chris Cerminaro leads the Class 3A tournament after shooting an even-par 71. Abington Heights' Anthony Sebastanelli (77) is tied for 17th.