The first time was a charm for Independence High School's varsity golf team.
Competing in the Virginia Class 3 State Golf Championship as Region 3B champions, Independence paced the field by 13 strokes to claim the team title Tuesday at Williamsburg National Golf Club.
The Tigers are the first athletic team to win a state championship at Independence, a first-year school in Brambleton.
"It's exciting," Independence athletic director Ryan Rogers said. "This is pretty special for these kids and this school and this community."
Independence, coached by David Larson, shot a four-player total of 294 on the par 72 course, just six strokes over par. Abingdon (307) placed second in the eight-team tournament.
"He's a great mentor," Rogers said of Larson. "Our kids really respond well to him. This is a pretty awesome accomplishment in their first season."
Sophomores Mehrbaan Singh and Julie Shin paced the Tigers with matching 1-under par rounds of 71. Singh and Shin tied for third place individually.
Sophomore Aryan Vuradi and junior Jonah Han each shot 76 for Independence, whose six-player lineup included Kyle Tinschert and Mira Ramachandran. Vuradi and Han tied for ninth individually.
With no seniors on their roster, the Tigers should be a force again next season.
Saxena aces Class 5 test
Playing the challenging par 72 course at Magnolia Green Golf Club in Moseley on Tuesday, Riverside High School junior Rohan Saxena was the lone golfer among 60 entrants in the Virginia Class 5 State Golf Championship to shoot under par.
Saxena carded six birdies on his way to a 1-under par 71. Saxena's stellar play earned him the individual state title and helped the Rams place third in the team standings.
Deep Run (303) won the team championship, followed by runner-up Douglas Freeman (309). A pair of Loudoun teams claimed the next two spots with Riverside (320) in third place and Freedom (321) one shot back in fourth.
Along with Saxena, Sam Carrollo's 81 and two of three rounds of 84 shot by Drew Carlin, Hayden Quinn and Jack Gessaman factored in Riverside's team scoring.
George Clark paced Freedom with his 1-over par 73, good for fourth place individually. Shelly Bajpai (81), Reed Hadsell (82) and Billy Adkins (85) also scored for the Eagles.
Michael Thomas of Woodgrove holed five birdies on the front nine on his way to shooting 76, tying for 10th place.
Brennan goes back-to-back
A year after winning the Class 5 state title, Tuscarora High School senior Michael Brennan lit up the course at Williamsburg National Golf Club on Monday to take home the individual crown at the 2019 Virginia Class 4 State Golf Championship.
Following a bogey on the first hole, Brennan combined seven birdies with 10 pars to card a 6-under par 66. Brennan caps his high school career with consecutive state championships.
With four golfers finishing in the top eight, Jamestown (285) won the team title by 19 strokes over runner-up Blacksburg (304).
Region 4C champion Loudoun Valley tied Monacan for third place with matching team scores of 310. Broad Run (311) finished one shot back in fifth.
Mikey Morga (73), Owen Cook (76), Colin LaFollette (80) and Justin Lockhart (81) scored for Loudoun Valley. Morga's 1-over par 73 earned him a tie for eighth place.
Mason Sergi (76), Brad Freyberger (77), Hannah Jonely (79) and Matthew Yun (79) led Broad Run to its fifth-place finish.
Matthew Monastero of Loudoun County shot even-par 72 to earn a tie for sixth place. Michael Faringer (74) of Heritage tied for 13th place.