FORT MADISON — Kaleb Allen put the “super” in Superconference Wednesday at Sheaffer Memorial Golf Course.
The Notre Dame-West Burlington senior carded a one-under par 69 for medalist honors in the SEI Superconference boys golf tournament. He won the individual title by 13 strokes over runner-up Ben Wolter of Mediapolis.
Sheaffer is normally a par 72, but due to soggy conditions two par four holes were shortened to par threes.
The New London Tigers also had a super day, winning the team championship with 349 strokes, three shots better than runner-up Notre Dame-West Burlington. New London’s Mason Shellady finished third individually with an 83,
The Tigers’ Weston Miller and Wyatt Miller tied for sixth individually with 87s and Ethan Streeter completed the team score with a 92.
Allen was three-under at the halfway mark with a 32 on the front nine, but he and the other 67 players battled soft fairways from recent rains. They were allowed to improve their lies due to the conditions.
“There were a lot of plugged balls,” ‘Allen said. “I probably would have shot an 80 if I had to play everything from the ground. I had one ball go in the water, in a little puddle, and I got to pick it out. And there was one six inches in the ground and I had to get that out, too. But overall, it was a really good day.”
“Kaleb’s played really well,” ND-WB coach Dan Kies said. “We went out on our first event at Keokuk and he shot 71 for 18 holes and was medalist at that. He’s played well. He’s shot one-under at one of our nine-hole meets, 35. His scoring average has been right there all year. He was medalist at a couple other meets, the New London meet, the Holy Trinity meet, and he just finished fourth at the Oskaloosa Invitational.
“There were 96 golfers in that and playing against a lot of big schools up there,” Kies said. “So that was really impressive up there for him. He didn’t start really well that day, a little frustrated, but he ended up finishing fourth overall. That’s a pretty big accomplishment.”
Kies has seen a lot of improvement in Allen’s game in the past year.
“I think his ball-striking has really gotten much better than he did a year ago,” Kies said. “He doesn’t get in trouble off the tee and he’s gained a lot of distance. His iron play has gotten really good. His putting has been good, not great, but it’s been good.”
Wednesday, Allen thought his putting was his strength.
“Today, it was actually my putter,” Allen said. “I had a lot of one-putts. I don’t know exactly how many putts, but probably under 30 putts today.”
“He’s had days where he’s not making a lot of putts,” Kies said, “but he’s not three-putting very often and things like that. His chipping has gotten much better. The one thing he’s working a lot on is his short iron game, hitting it closer. He’s got a lot of room for improvement there, but he’s made huge strides from last year to this year.”
Allen will be playing for Des Moines Area Community College in the fall.
“I toured their school back in the fall and I really like their program and their facilities,” he said. “Their coach (Chris Seaboch) is really good, too. Their coach is all inside a hundred yards and that’s the worst part of my game, being able to hit the green and get a putt. I feel that’s a great fit for me. I’ll go there for a year or two and then go to a four-year.”
The Nikes, like all other area teams, have been plagued with poor weather conditions all season.
“The weather this spring really put a big damper on practice,” Kies said. “It seems like every time you turn around its 40 degrees and windy or it’s raining or whatever. There have been so many days where they can’t really get good practice rounds in. It’s been limited. It’s just been a tough spring, but everybody has had to do it. They’ve got to find ways to practice on their own a lot.”
Allen started early.
“It’s been pretty tough, but I really focused on my game in the winter,” he said.
1. New London, 349; 2. Notre Dame-West Burlington, 352; 3. Van Buren County, 361; 4. Mediapolis, 362; 5. Wapello, 368; 6. Winfield-Mount Union, 376; 7. Hillcrest Academy, 383; 8. Highland, 389; 9. (tie) Columbus, 437, and Central Lee, 437; 11. Holy Trinity, 477. (Lone Tree and Louisa-Muscatine didn’t have enough players for team scores.)
Top 25 individuals
1. Kaleb Allen (ND-WB), 69; 2. Ben Wolter (Med), 82; 3. Mason Shellady (NL), 83; 4. Chase Schultz (High), 84; 5. T.J. Jirak (VBC), 85; 6. (tie) Weston Miller (NL), 87, and Wyatt Miller (NL), 87; 8. Carter Loyd (W-MU), 88; 9. Liam Schrock (Hill), 88; 10. (tie) Riley Bruckman (VBC), 89, and Zach Harbison (Wap), 89; 12. Casey Short (Wap), 90.
13. (tie) Anthony Duncan (VBC), 91, and Kyle Etka (ND-WB), 91; 15. (tie) Carsen Jones (ND-WB), 92, Cooper Garrison (Wap), 92, and Ethan Streeter (NL), 92; 18. (tie) Kamden Stotlar (Med), 93, and Jacob Grier, (Med), 93; 20. Grady Gunn (Med), 94; 21. (tie) Luke Schrock (Hill), 95, Andrew Brown (W-MU), 95, Grant Hilton (Med), 95, Robert Coil (Col), 95, and Jace Rempel (Hill), 95.