Runbom leads Streaks golfers into postseason; Get the lowdown on Streaks fall sports

Mike Trueblood
Special to The Register-Mail
Jason Runbom and the Streaks golf team began postseason play Wednesday.

GALESBURG — State boys golf tournament veteran Jason Runbom was scheduled to lead his teammates into the postseason Wednesday as Illinois high schools begin regional play.

The Silver Streaks were among nine teams in the Geneseo regional field at Valley View Golf Course in Cambridge. The top three teams and top 10 individuals not qualifying with teams will advance to the Bartonville Sectional on Monday.

The state tourney will be played Oct. 7-8 at Weibring Golf Club in Normal.

Runbom, a senior, finished seventh at the IHSA Class 2A state tourney last fall by shooting 75-69-144 and has been a top performer for the Silver Streaks since his freshman year.

Coach Jim Noonan, who has guided the Streaks' seniors all four years he has coached at GHS, has watched Runbom grow.

"He was a very good golfer when I got here," said Noonan. "The thing I've noticed most that has improved in his game is his confidence.

"He was a mature kid when I got here. He's going out now and knows if he plays his best game, he can beat anybody."

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Among Runbom's personal highlights this season have included winning the Geneseo Invitational at Deere Run with a score of 72, claiming the Western Big Six Conference championship on Sept. 20 with a 4-under par 67 at Bunker Links Golf Course, and winning the GHS Invite last weekend also at Bunker by shooting 69.

He says if he's not playing his best golf of the season yet, he's awfully close.

"Currently, I'm very close," Runbom said. "But I know there's another level I can get to.

"It all depends on my patience and my attitude. At this point, I think about things too much."

Runbom's typically busy summer included competing in several tournaments in the Chicago area and playing in American Junior Golf Association tourneys in Pekin and South Dakota. The AJGA experience included two finishes in the top 20.

When he's not playing, Runbom has held a job at Bunker Links for the past three years.

While he contemplates a college choice — there are five schools he's "finalized" including two he has yet to visit - Runbom is gearing up for a big finish to his high school career. He advanced to sectional as freshman and like everyone, saw his sophomore postseason erased by an IHSA mandate during the peak of the COVID pandemic.

"I'm pleased with how my season has been," he said. "I won pretty much all the events I wanted to win and I've been checking off all my goals for sure."

Geneseo may be the favorite

As host team, Geneseo may deserve the nod as regional favorite, according to Noonan.

"They've had a real nice year and won a lot of invites," said Noonan. 

"But the last time we faced them, they only beat us by two strokes."

Galesburg is coming off its season's best score with a 315 at the GHS Invite won by Quincy Notre Dame's 308.

Along with Runbom, the Streaks will have three 2021 sectional qualifiers in action with senior Carson Hopping and junior John Crowl in the lineup and round out scoring chances with senior Luke Foster, sophomore Hayden Musser and senior Benjamin Smith-Raley.

Crowl finished second in the GHS Invite and Hopping finished sixth.

"I feel good about our chances," said Noonan. "I think the top three are locked in and playing their best golf of the season right now.

"We just shot a 315 — our best score of the season — but realistically, it will probably take a 306 or 308 to win regional."

Girls golf regional Thursday

The Galesburg girls golf team competes in the 9-team Class 2A regional at Peoria's Newman Golf Course on Thursday hosted by Richwoods High School.

Top team and individuals will advance to the O'Fallon sectional at Far Oaks Golf Club in Caseyville. 

The girls state tournament will be played at Hickory Point Golf Course in Forsyth. 

Galesburg lost to Quincy 42-14 last week and will try to get back on the winning track Friday against Rock Island.

Football back on the road to Rock Island

Galesburg will try to break out of a three-game losing streak at 7 p.m. Friday when it travels to Rock Island for a WB6 football game.

The Silver Streaks (0-3, 1-4) are coming off a 42-14 homecoming loss to Quincy. Rock Island (2-1, 3-2) hammered United Township 68-35 last week.

On a rainy night in Galesburg, the Quincy Blue Devils relied on turnovers and their ground game to post a 42-14 Western Big Six Conference football victory Friday.

Perhaps helped by a rainy night, the Streaks slowed a high-powered Quincy passing attack and trailed only 14-7 at halftime.

But a Galesburg fumble and a bad snap on a punt attempt helped Quincy put the game away in the second half.

Nolan Carl's 99-yard interception return for a touchdown was the Streaks' highlight of the game.