CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Oglebay Resort is starting to feel like a home course for Charleston Catholic's golf team.
The Irish captured their third straight Class A state championship Wednesday at Oglebay's Robert Trent Jones course, beating Madonna by 10 strokes to conclude the two-day state tournament on the par-72 layout.
It's also the fourth title in five years for coach Bill Gillispie's squad, which became just the sixth school to three-peat in the state golf event.
The others were Buckhannon-Upshur (1980-82) and Barboursville (1983-85) when it was a one-class event, Bridgeport (1992-94) in AA and Huntington (1997-99) and Hurricane (2007-09) in AAA.
"It's good to win three in a row,'' Gillispie said, "and be in the same company as Pat Carter and Barboursville and those good Hurricane teams. It's nice to be mentioned with those guys.''
The Irish weren't the only repeat champs on the premises, as Roane County claimed its second straight Class AA crown in a runaway and Wheeling Park took its third in four years in AAA, edging Cabell Midland by five shots.
The closest race for a medalist came in Class A, where Madonna's Michael Rogers nosed out Catholic's Aaron Persily by a single stroke - Rogers shot an 8-over-par 152 to Persily's 9-over 153.
Alston Spears of Roane earned his second consecutive AA title with the week's best overall score of 4-over 148, leading a charge of three Raiders at the top of the standings. Teammates Cole Moore (152) and Cam Moore (158) finished second and third, respectively.
In AAA, Park's Cole Hand won medalist honors for a second year in a row with a 36-hole total of 5-over 149, with Alex Schreckengost (Parkersburg South) and Tyler Hillyer (Princeton) tied for second at 152.
Gillispie felt badly for Persily, who finished in the top four in all four years he competed at the state tournament (all-state honors go to the top eight in each class). But Gillispie said his senior leader, who played alongside Rogers in the final round, proved his mettle Wednesday.
"I know he was a little disappointed,'' Gillispie said, "because he really did want to win it, but he's a team guy first.''
With two holes to play, Catholic sophomore Nick Casingal hit two shots in the water on the same par-5 hole and was despondent. But from a distance, Gillispie watched Persily put his arm around Casingal to settle him down.
"He told him it's OK,'' Gillispie said. "He said, 'You're going to get to the last hole and get on the green, you're going to make a putt and we're going to win the state championship.'