Gill claims individual state title and leads Wellington to first boys golf title since 1982

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Junior Deitrek Gill getting ready to putt on hole 18 to claim the KSHSAA Individual Title and 4A State Title for Wellington at Mariah Hills Golf Course in Dodge City, Kansas

DODGE CITY, Kansas - The last time the Wellington boys golf team won the state championship was 39 years ago. However, that changed on Tuesday, May 25, as the Crusaders won the KSHSAA 4A State Golf Tournament. 

The 4A individual state champion, junior Deitrek Gill, led the way for the Crusaders as he shot even with par. Senior teammate Blake Saffell wasn't too far from Gill as he finished in second place with a two-over-par score. 

"This feels amazing," said individual state champion Deitrek Gill. "The state championship has been a long time coming for Wellington. We have been so close, but now we finally got our chance to play."

Wellington has come up a bit short in Gill's tenure. In his 2018 freshman season, the Crusaders were the state runner-ups. Last season, Wellington felt like they had the potential to win state, but the season was canceled due to COVID-19.

The Wellington boys golf team taking a group picture with their friends and family after winning the KSHSAA 4A State Golf Tournament

The Crusaders had help outside of their top-2 finishers. Senior Jace Lawrence tied for 12th, junior Laken Smith tied for 14th, Brett Wyckoff finished in 17th and Peyton Linked tied for 35th. 

Overall, as a team, the Crusaders gained an early lead and never looked back. 

Wellington finished Day 1 with a score of 313 and held first place by six points. The Crusaders weren't satisfied with their scores and they knew they need to look sharp on Day 2.

"We didn't feel like we played our best yesterday," said Wellington head coach James Ginter. "The kids were well aware of that and they came out with a mission to play better. They did just that and won in a significant fashion."

On Day 2, the Crusaders finished with 297 points, making their total 610 within the two days. The nearest team was State Runner-up Wamego with 642 points.

The state title didn't come as a surprise. Wellington won every tournament they participated in and finished the season undefeated.

"I'm very proud of them," said Ginter. They have been through a lot and for the seniors to come back and get a chance to win a championship is special and I'm happy for them. These seniors mean a lot to our program and have played a huge role."