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Thornberry wins West Region title
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Cal State Stanislaus sophomore Ryan Thornberry didn't want to let his teammates down at the 2004 NCAA Division II West Region championship. A lot was at stake on Wednesday.

"My biggest concern was playing good for the team in the third round," Thornberry said.

Thornberry, a 2002 Ceres High graduate, claimed individual medalist honors with a 7-under-par 209 at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club in Washington and helped the Stanislaus men's golf team qualify for the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship for the fifth year in a row.

"There were a lot of good players playing there," said Thornberry, who became the first Warrior to win a regional title during the Division II era.

Thornberry edged Chico State's J.J. Jakovac, the reigning national champion, by one stroke. Thornberry scored a pair of 69s in the first two rounds and a 1-under 71 in the third round. Jakovac shot even-par 72 in the opening round and carded 69s in the final two rounds en route to a 6-under-par 210.

As a team, Cal State Stanislaus finished third in a field of eight with a 6-over 871 total score. Jeff King placed 13th with a 3-over 219. Billy Moon placed 15th with a 4-over 220. Keith Ornales placed 28th with a 9-over 225. A.J. Shiffert placed 35th with a 12-over 228.

The top four teams qualified for the national tournament.

Chico State won the team title with a 9-under 855 while St. Martin's College placed second with a 4-over 868. UC San Diego (872), Western Washington (874), Hawaii-Hilo (875), Cal State Bakersfield (878) and Grand Canyon (920) took fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

Nick Mason of Hawaii-Hilo (211), Chico State's Marc Peterson (212) and St. Martin's Shane Prante (213) placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Warriors flew to Orlando, Fla., Saturday morning.

Competition starts today and ends on Saturday. Approximately 16 teams will vie for the national title.

"I reached my goal for this year," Thornberry said. "Now, I just want to play well for the team at nationals."

Thornberry has three first-place finishes and has lowered his scoring average by almost two strokes this season. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier