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D-B's van der Biest tops girls' field; 'Toppers boys up by 13

Jeff Birchfield • Sep 25, 2018 at 9:11 PM

MANCHESTER — The Tri-Cities region made its presence felt Tuesday in the TSSAA Large Class Golf Championships at WillowBrook Golf Course.

Science Hill sat atop the leaderboard after Day 1 of the boys’ tournament and Dobyns-Bennett’s Isabella van der Biest shot a 5-under 67 for a one-shot lead in the girls’ event.

The Hilltoppers, who are looking for the fourth state championship in school history, shot a 3-over 291 to lead by 13 strokes over Farragut, their nearest opponent. Coffee County was third in the team standings, 18 strokes back at 21 over.

Jackson Skeen had three birdies for a 1-under 71 to lead the way for Science Hill. Skeen and Lance Simpson of Farragut were tied for the overall lead.

The Hilltoppers’ Sean Anderson was in a tie for third after a 72 and Gavin Nickels was tied for ninth after a 73. Tarun Hoskere’s 3-over 75 also counted toward Science Hill’s team total.

“Our kids battled. What do you say about the seniors, Sean Anderson and Gavin Nickels?” Science Hill coach Kevin Vannoy said in a phone interview. “Sean went out first and set the tone and Gavin had a good round of 73. ...

“We’re only halfway done and have to stay focused. Thirteen strokes might seem like a lot, but that’s not a bunch in team golf. We’re preparing tonight to play another 18 holes and hoping we can replicate something like we did today.”

Among other local individuals, Jack Tickle of Tennessee High shot 77 and Volunteer’s Jon Wes Lovelace had an 83.

Van der Biest’s opening-round score tied for the eighth lowest in state tournament history. She will take a one-shot lead over Lynn Lim of Station Camp into the final round.

Katerina Scott, van der biest’s teammate, shot an 84 to put the Lady Indians in third place at 7 over in the team competition. They trailed leader Station Camp by five strokes and second-place Houston by just one.

Sullivan South’s Kara Carter was in 10th place after a 4-over 76.

Play is scheduled to resume Wednesday at 9 a.m.

TSSAA Large Schools Class Golf Championships

WillowBrook Golf Course, Manchester

Girls Championships


Isabella van der Biest 67, Katerina Scott 84, Erin Colhoun 110


Kara Carter, Sullivan South — 76

Lily Self, Tennessee High — 89

Boys Championships


Jackson Skeen 71, Sean Anderson 72, Gavin Nickels 73, Tarun Hoskere 75, Carter Counts 82


Jack Tickle, Tennessee High — 77

Jon Wes Lovelace, Volunteer — 83

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