BYRON, ILL. - Returning to PrairieView Golf Club for the first time since 2014, the result of the three-day tournament turned out much the same with Black Hawk College and the College of DuPage claiming championships in the 2019 Region IV Division II and III Tournaments, respectively. The Braves rallied to capture their 14th consecutive DII crown with a 54-hole score of 959, while the Chaparrals reclaimed their place atop the DIII field with an impressive total of 930. Nzelu Maitha of Oakton Community College and Jack Vercautren of the College of College each earned tournament medalist honors and were first on the list of 22 players named All-Region IV.
The defending champions found themselves trailing after Thursday's opening round, with Sauk Valley Community College holding a four-shot lead. However, Black Hawk College responded with a 14-shot improvement and used a 312 tally in Round 2 to not only overtake the Skyhawks, but hold a 13-stroke advantage entering the final round. The Braves again posted the day's best team score and finished 17 shots ahead of SVCC retain the team title. The victory gave first year head coach Butch Haverland his first career Region IV Coach of the Year award.
In a similar fashion, the battle atop the individual leaderboard saw some changes over the course of three days. Carl Sandburg College's Trace White opened with a three-over-par 75 to take the Round 1 lead over Caden Fletcher of Bryant & Stratton College. By the end of Friday's 18-holes, Oakton's Maitha and Black Hawk College's Gabe Beardsley were tied for first, one shot better than Trevor Brandon from the College of Lake County. When it was all said and done on Saturday, Maitha, a sophomore, was atop the leaderboard after shooting a Division II-best round of one-over-par 73 for a three-day total of 230 to win by five over Beardsley.
Black Hawk College and Sauk Valley College, as well as Maitha, Brandon, Fletcher, Kyle Ketcham (Highland Community College), White, and Austen Velazquez (Waubonsee Community College) had all qualified for the 2020 NJCAA Division II Championships at Twin Hills Country Club in Joplin, Missouri, from May 19-22, 2020.
The College of DuPage was the top team in Region IV throughout the fall season and showed why again over three days at PrairieView with a thoroughly dominating performance. The Chaparrals, who were ineligible to compete in the Region IV Tournament a year ago due to a NJCAA imposed postseason ban, posted the tournaments best team scores, regardless of division. DuPage opened with a 316 to lead defending champion Madison College by 24 shots. The lead grew to 41 after two rounds when COD posted a 312, however, the Chaparrals slammed the door shut on Saturday with a tournament-best tally of 302 that gave them a 930-994 win over the WolfPack. The tournament title is the 19th in school history and sixth under head coach Jason Hyatt, who earned his eighth Region IV Coach of the Year award.
Vercautren, a sophomore from Naperville, Illinois, overcame three of his teammates to take the individual title. After trailing Nick Sullivan by one and sitting tied with Kevin Andjulis at seven-over-par 79 following the opening round, Vercautren put everyone in his rearview mirror with a tournament-low four-under-par 68 to go up by eight shots. He would finish with a three-over-par 219 to take medalist honors by 11 over Andjulis.
The College of DuPage will represent the region at the 2020 NJCAA Division III Championships at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, New York, from June 2-5, 2020.
Division II All-Region Team
Nzelu Maitha - Oakton Community College - 230
Gabe Beardsley - Black Hawk College - 235
Trevor Brandon - College of Lake County - 236
Caden Fletcher - Bryant & Stratton College - 236
Jacob Rude - Sauk Valley Community College - 237
Colton Guy - Sauk Valley Community College - 237
Mick Haverland - Black Hawk College - 240
Peyton Perez - Black Hawk College - 240
Kyle Ketcham - Highland Community College - 241
Trace White - Carl Sandburg College - 242
Austen Velazquez - Waubonsee Community College - 242
Javier Jazo - Highland Community College - 244
Clay Wells - Illinois Valley Community College - 246
Ethan Earl - Black Hawk College - 246
Spencer Marquez - Illinois Valley Community College - 248
Coach of the Year
Butch Haverland - Black Hawk College
Division III All-Region Team
Jack Vercautren - College of DuPage - 219
Kevin Andjulis - College of DuPage - 230
Nick Sullivan - College of DuPage - 239
AJ Gray - Madison College - 241
Nate Gorniak - College of DuPage - 244
Matt Hach - Madison College - 245
Mark Spitzer - Elgin Community College - 248
Coach of the Year
Jason Hyatt - College of DuPage