OSWEGO – To Nikolai Sardo, it was a fitting conclusion to four years of building.
And, of course, history.
Sardo is part of a senior class that arrived at Oswego right when the program last won a conference title.
This group of Panthers won JV league titles as freshmen, and as sophomores.
They're going out on top.
Sardo's 5-over par 77 led four Panthers shooting in the 70s on a breezy Monday afternoon at Fox Bend Golf Course.
It sent Oswego, as a team, to sectionals for the first time in program history. Oswego's 313 tied Waubonsie Valley for second, a shot behind regional champion Wheaton Warrenville South (312).
"It's truly special when everything comes together one year," said Sardo, third individually.
Sardo was followed by fellow seniors Patrick Hranka (78) and Blake Ginn (79), with sophomore Jack Rimington also in at 79. Waubonsie's Will Troy, at 1-under 71, was the regional champion.
They advance to next week's sectional meet at the Village Links of Glen Ellyn. They'll be joined by advancing individuals Ryan Waugh (77) and Jonathan Waugh of (78), and Oswego East's Camden Bonney (81), Gavin Hjelle (82) and Michael Hugelier (83).
It's a special achievement for Hranka, a sectional individual qualifier as a sophomore and junior.
"It's a pretty big deal," said Hranka, fifth individually. "To be the first team to do it is awesome."
It's a perfect culmination to a season that saw Oswego lose just one conference dual meet, then take the SPC tournament title for the second time in four years.
"At the beginning of the year we said our goal was to win conference," Hranka said. "Once we won it and saw the numbers we can put up we felt confident. We felt like we went into this tournament with a shot to win it. Every shot counts. It's still a good round."
Sardo started out strong Monday with birdies on the first two holes, then made par on six of the next seven holes. Hranka, likewise, remained consistent with no blow-up holes.
"It helps to have seniors," said Oswego coach Chad Pohlmann, with four of them in his lineup. "They know, they've been through the battles and the wars and know what to do. They give us a lot of stability. Jack continues to impress as a sophomore, is steady as can be, is unflappable."
The Panthers, to no surprise, looked right at home on the Fox Bend track.
"It's kind of our home away from home," Pohlmann said. "It's right in our backyard, the guys play here a lot. I wasn't surprised that they put up a good number."
Yorkville's Ryan Waugh, a sophomore, will be making his first trip to sectionals alongside older brother and now three-time qualifier Jonathan Waugh.
Ryan Waugh came out hot Monday, making a par putt from close to 40 feet on the second hole. He went on to shoot a 2-under 35 the first nine.
"That helped me a ton," Waugh said. "After that I was totally calm and much more loose with my shots. That [putt on No. 2] made me confident in my putting game the rest of the round."
He also was well-prepared for the round.
"Our coach came out with and played a practice round the night before," Waugh said. "That really helped me to see where I should hit my shots."