EXETER – For the first two years of his high school career, Mariano Medico picked up just one tournament victory because he had trouble getting past Pittston Area's Brandon Matthews.
With Matthews, a former PIAA champion now at Temple, Medico had little trouble breaking into the win column at the Wyoming Valley Conference's Preseason Tryba Invitational.
The Holy Redeemer junior not only claimed his first Tryba title, but broke Matthews' tournament record by firing 3-under 68 at Fox Hill Country Club besting the previous mark by one stroke. Medico earned the win by shooting mostly par golf on the course, netting an eagle on the par-5 No. 6 hole and birdieing Nos. 9 and 12. If not for a bogey on No. 13, Medico would have posted an even better score.
"I was disappointed the last two years, and to come here and get a win is just fabulous. I've wanted to win this tournament since I've come to high school and to win it now is just great," said Medico, who had a solid summer of events including winning the Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior championship. "It was just a real honor to win this tournament today."
Medico's brilliant round was three shots better than teammate Chase Makowski, who took second with a 71. Another Royal, Matt Slavoski was tied for third with Coughlin's Daulton Lentini; both carded 72s. Coughlin's Mike Post, Pittston Area's Ryan Tracy and Wyoming Area's Zach Mulhern tied for fifth with 74s.
The three low scores by Redeemer helped the team win its third consecutive tournament title with a score of 290, which shattered the event's team record of 296 set by the Royals the last two years. Redeemer's Ryan Crossin rounded out the scoring for his team, carding a 79. Coughlin placed second to the Royals in the team scoring with a score of 302. In any other year except the last three when Holy Redeemer broke 300, the Crusaders score would have won the tourney. Shamus Gartley scored 76 and Corey Hauser's 80 also helped Coughlin's low points total.
"Honestly I never thought anyone would ever beat the 296 we had. So to beat it by six shots is unheard of," Redeemer coach Art Brunn Jr. said. "(Coughlin) shot 302, that's a phenomenal score. That's a great round those guys put together today."
Pittston Area (312), Wyoming Valley West (314) and Dallas (320) rounded out the top-five team scores.
One of the weirdest things to happen during any round of golf occurred in the threesome of Medico, Gartley and Wyoming Valley West's Chris McCue when all three players eagled the sixth hole consecutively
"It's once in a lifetime to see three eagles on one hole like that," Medico noted. "We all hit it to about 15 feet from the hole and all made it."