WESLACO — District 32-6A golfers faced searing conditions as they wrapped up their district meet Wednesday at Tierra Santa Golf Course.
Harlingen South’s Malachi Peña held off Harlingen High’s Parker Smith to claim the individual title. Peña finished with a two-day score of 145, taking the title by a single stroke.
“It is an amazing feeling,” he said. “I am proud of myself and all of the hard work I have put in. Coach Milligan really helped me through it. It was a blast playing with Parker Smith. It was a close game.”
Peña said competing with Smith really pushed him to play better. Both finished with a 70.
“I felt great,” Smith said. “Today there was not much more that I could do. I hit some great putts and shots, just needed one more to fall.”
Harlingen South as a team took the district title. Peña was joined by Jeffrey Janik, Roman Andablo, Thomas Garza and David Sanchez.
“It feels amazing that all of our hard work and practice paid off to get here,” Janik said.
Harlingen High took second place as a team, besting Los Fresnos by two strokes for the spot in the regional tournament. Parker Smith, Jacob Fonseca, Krish Bhakta, Dane Resendez and Landon Lopez make up the Cards’ team.
“Feels good, we worked really hard for it,” Fonseca said. “We started off the season slow, but we have worked to get to where we want to be.”
Weslaco High’s Nick Luna shot a 70 on Wednesday to finish third and book his regional spot individually.
“I shot a 79 the first day and I rallied back the next day to qualify for regionals, and I am really proud about that,” he said.
Luna was also happy about going to the regional tournament as a freshman.
Los Fresnos junior Nicolas Naranjo shot a 75 on both days to finish fifth overall, grabbing that last regional spot.
“I have practiced all year for this,” he said. “I have worked really hard with my coach, Wendy, and my parents. It feels great.”
It was a great tournament for the Lady Falcons. Gabriana Garrido, Allison McGinnis, Jennifer Laznovsky, Ariana Garza and Katelyn Barrera won first by 53 strokes.
“It was a rough day with the heat, but we are excited to go back to regionals and hoping to finally make it to state,” Garrido said.
McGinnis finished second individually, shooting a 77 on Day 1 and a 75 on Day 2.
“It feels really good, especially because it is not the end for us,” she said.
The Lady Falcons are no strangers to the regional tournament, having gone every year together. They are hoping to make a real push for state.
“We are just hoping to work hard these last two weeks and hope to do just as good, if not better,” Laznovsky said.
The Weslaco High girls finished second as a team. Jazlyn Segura, Janelle Castillo, Nicole Feeney, Natalie Arevalo and Salma Carreon will be headed to the regional tournament.
Segura had another great day on the course with a score of 70, taking first place individually by nine strokes to defend her title.
“This time, I just want to try for state,” she said.
Harlingen High’s Regan Ramirez and Los Fresnos’ Camila Calderon grabbed the two individual spots.
“It feels exciting, but kind of scary,” Ramirez said. “I know I can put myself together before I get there.”
Said Calderon, “It was nerve-racking at first, but I know I am going to have my friends with me from the first team, so it won’t be that bad.”