Colin Chromy is a study in perseverance.
As a Neuqua Valley freshman, Chromy was cut from the boys golf JV team. As a sophomore he floated between the JV and varsity, but mainly played JV.
As a junior he's the Class 3A Naperville Central regional medalist.
"I've been working really hard. I didn't expect this, but it's great to win," said Chromy, Neuqua Valley's No. 3 golfer this season.
Instead of quitting the game after being cut as a freshman, Chromy resolved to work harder.
"I just got determined. When coach told me I got cut, I just got determined and I went to the range every day. I just hit balls," he said.
"It's a good hard-work story," Wildcats coach Bart Carbonneau added. "A lot of kids would find that devastating and kind of give up. He took it the opposite and it motivated him to work extremely hard."
He worked on becoming straighter off the tee, and that helped him lower his scores. It showed Tuesday at Naperbrook Golf Course.
"I was just hitting the greens," he said. "I just hit the greens in regulation, and that's something I'm known to do. Irons were going really well, and then when I got on the green I was able to make putts. I was able to get up and down, too, when I didn't make the green in regulation. My putter, on the last six holes, I made five one-putts. Putting was a key part of the day, I think."
Chromy's 2-under-par 70 also led Neuqua Valley to a 299 team score, tied with Wheaton Warrenville South. The Tigers won the team championship based on the fifth-score tiebreaker.
"I was actually kind of thinking at the start of the day 300 was our goal, so we actually got one better than that," Carbonneau said. "Actually a couple of our guys didn't play that great. Obviously, our top three did very well. They carried a lot of weight. But that was just enough."
Jack Lillig had the low score for WW South, a 73. Cooper Kohout and Joe Donzelli each shot a 75.
"It's a big deal," Tigers coach Jimmy Selleck said of the team win. "The regional is a tough regional. It's a lot of competition. We wanted to come out here and show that we can play."
Ironically, the Tigers placed second to the Wildcats at last week's DuPage Valley Conference tournament by one stroke.
"We stood up today," Selleck said. "We stood up today and showed some of our team depth, which was nice."
Naperville Central claimed the third and final team spot to advance to next week's sectional, shooting a 303. Tommy Dunsire led the Redhawks with a 71, Ryan Onorati shot a 75 and Ryan Cagan carded a 76.
"In the state tournament it's all about advancing," said Redhawks coach Barry Baldwin. "We advanced. In this field, with the caliber of teams here, any advancement is bonus. The kids played great. A 302 is outstanding, on a day like today, as windy as it was."
Naperville North placed fourth with a 311, with Benet fifth at 314.