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Lathrop clinches 1st VOL tourney berth
GLF--Manteca-Lathrop pic 1
Geoff Fallon, left, celebrates his long par putt with Lathrop teammate Christian Guzman on the eighth hole at French Camp Golf Course on Thursday, when the Spartans defeated visiting Manteca. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO/ The Bulletin

The Lathrop High boys golf team hit a milestone in its brief history on Thursday, clinching a spot in the Valley Oak League Championships for the first time with its 223-257 over Manteca at French Camp Golf Course.

Only the top five teams qualify for the league tournament, though the top players from the bottom three can still advance as individuals. Impressive freshman Christian Guzman, who finished 2-over-par 34 in Thursday’s dual match, was a lock to make it himself, but he’ll have his teammates with him April 29 Saddle Creek Golf Resort in Copperopolis.

“I’m proud of those guys,” Lathrop coach Cesar Fernandez said. “When I took over two years ago we didn’t win a match but now we’re doing something.”

Guzman was backed by the steady Geoff Fallon, who played bogey golf for a 41. Brothers Sam and Matt Fallon followed with a 44 and 51, respectively, and Nick Berndt rounded out the Spartans’ score with a 53. Lathrop is 5-8 with one regular-season match remaining.

Kyle Howard finished in a third-place tie for Manteca (2-10) with his 44. Ray Gallardo (50), Alex Armendariz (51), Jonathan White (55) and Dylan Haro (57) contributed to the rest of the team score.

East Union 206,
Weston Ranch 246

Michael Lozano finished even par with a 36 at Van Buskirk Golf Course as the Lancers (9-3) remain in a second-place tie with Oakdale in the league standings.

Trevor Baum, Manuel Telles and Alejandro Barajas each turned in a 42. Clayton Dorland chipped in a 44. Austin Thao paced Weston Ranch with a 46.

East Union hosts Lathrop on Tuesday and caps the regular season next Thursday.

Trans-Valley League

Ripon 230, Hilmar 241

The Indians (8-2) put themselves in a good position to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with Thursday’s win at Spring Creek Golf & Country Club.

Hilmar’s Landon Azevedo was low medalist with a 1-over 36. Nick Sharp (42), Josh Angel (44), Luis Candido (46), Kole Gonzalez (48) and Rhet Herrin (50) scored for Ripon, which has two matches left before the league tournament set for April 27 at La Contenta Golf Club.

“Our top players had a tough day but we had some other guys step up,” Ripon coach Chris Musseman said. “Josh Angel deserves a lot of credit. He’s been trying all year to make an impact for us and did that today despite triple bogeying the ninth hole. He and Luis Candido stepped up when we needed them to.”