Baylor Golf Teams Re-Sweep State Titles, Liano is Individual Champ

The Baylor girls' and boys' golf teams both successfully defended their 2020 state championships Tuesday at Sevierville Golf Club, sweeping the 2021 titles for the repeat and taking both girls' and boys' crowns in the same year for the 14th time since 1995. The championships make 20 state titles each for both teams, the first for the boys coming in 1988 and the first for the girls in 1995.

The Baylor girls, led by newly-crowned state champion junior Paula Liano, finished at 11-over par (291) for the tourney to nip Lipscomb Academy by one stroke. Lipscomb led by five strokes after Monday's round but could not hold off the charging Raiders.

Liano finished at 1-over par (71-70-141), three strokes better than Ava Bankston of Lipscomb Academy, to become the seventh Baylor female to be an individual state champion. Liano birdied the final hole while eighth grader Carlee Rogers's par on the last hole sealed the one-stroke team victory. Rogers finished in eighth place overall with rounds of 76 and 74 for a 150 total and senior Kyndall Shamblin was 10th with a 153 total (76-77).

Liano's championship marks the 14th time a Baylor girl has been the state medalist. She joins four-time champ Brooke Pancake '08, three-time winner May Wood '02, two-time champions Belt Felts '04 and Blakesly Warren '14, Sofia Hoglund '10, and Elizabeth Hallman '98.

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While the Baylor girls were battling, the boys were cruising to a 17-stroke championship win over runner-up Ensworth. The Raiders led by five after day one, and continued the blistering pace finish an incredible 19-under par (557), a new state record for a 36-hole team score. The old record of 565 was set by Baylor in 2003. The five Baylor golfers made three eagles and 38 birdies in the two-day tournament.

Three Baylor players tied for second place individually, including defending state champion senior Sheldon McKnight. He and classmates Haden Maxwell and David Schneider Jerez all finished 5-under at 139, six strokes behind a red hot Blades Brown of Brentwood Academy who finished a strong 11-under par after a first round 64. Brett Cooper, another senior, was right behind the Raider trio at 4-under 140, tied for sixth place, and junior Viktor Stollinger finished in 12th place at 2-over 145.

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