WILLIAMSBURG — Standing on the course at Williamsburg Country Club waiting for the final golfers to finish up their rounds, Meade Slonaker said he let out a deep breath.
This year, however, that deep breath came out of relief and not from frustration.
Slonaker, a junior at Eastern Mennonite High School, won the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III golf individual state championship on Monday.
It is the first state title of Slonaker’s career after finishing as runner-up at the VISAA tournament the past two seasons.
“It means so much to me to finally win it after two runner-up finishes,” Slonaker said. “It was one of the best feelings ever to be able to sigh and celebrate with my dad and my buddies.”
Slonaker shot a 73 to edge New Community’s Odin Anderson (74) for the title while Faith Christian’s Owen Bright was third.
As a team, the Flames placed third with a score of 387, finishing behind state champion Veritas (368) and Timberlake Christian (380).
“The course was fantastic,” Slonaker said. “We saw it for the first time last night and it was in surprisingly good shape for how much rain they’ve had here.”
Slonaker called the back nine “nerve-racking” and said he went back and forth with Anderson for most of the round before eventually coming away with the win.
“I hadn’t been thrilled with my game before today, but I worked a lot of all aspects of my game over the weekend and it paid,” Slonaker said. “I played well today.”
Slonaker made all of his putts within 10 feet, he said, and capped his junior year with the one thing he said he had been aiming for all season.
EMHS freshman Adam Hatter shot a 91 for the Flames while Ben Bellamy shot 109 and Andrew Lantz carded a 114.
“This season was very up and down,” Slonaker said. “I’m just glad I could finish it well.”