Girls’ golf team advances to states

Eric Lu, Author

The newly formed girls’ golf team (13-1) earned a berth in the California Regional and State Golf Championship, which will start Nov. 21st, after finishing second at the Girls’ Northern California Championship.

The team has been practicing constantly to prepare for the championship, according to senior captain Annie Chen.

“We’re practicing daily and focusing on the parts of our game that we feel we need to improve on,” Chen said. “Some of us are going to different courses to practice, like the putting greens at Stanford.”

The team, which is in its first year, won all but one of its regular season matches, only losing to crosstown rival Gunn High School by two strokes. They then placed second behind Gunn at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Championship, again by two strokes. The Vikings then went on to place first in the entire Central Coast Section, beating St. Francis High School by four strokes and Gunn by 21 strokes.

“The team is successful because we don’t depend on one or two people to pull us through,” Chen said. “Individually, most of us might not be considered the best at competitions, but as a team we’re much more solid. We also have great team chemistry.”

The team’s success is also a result of having each of the six players in the starting lineup performing well, according to junior captain Michelle Xie.

“We surprisingly put together a really strong team,” Xie said. “Annie Chen and I played for the boys team [last year], and we knew that [freshman] Emily Hwang would be really talented. But we perfectly had [senior] Audrey Horn move from Portland this year, and also two more freshmen [Elise Kiya and Cellia Willner Shawn] that could make our top six very strong.”

“This year’s girls’ team is super close-knit because we are a smaller team than the guys,” Xie said. “The girls team is almost half freshmen, so I think that the team can stick around, even after the two seniors leave.”

Overall, Xie has faith in the team’s ability to perform well at state competition.

“I think that if the team maintains focus and each of us play to the best of our ability, we can place very well,” she said.