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CHS girls golf makes school history

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

It’s hard to tell which is the bigger story, the fact that the Claremont High School girls’ varsity golf team is the first in school history to finish the regular season with a undefeated record, or that they won back-to-back Palomares league titles in just 17 months.

Or how about both feats happening on the same day — last Thursday, October 14, when the team defeated Ayala High School, 210-217, on the front nine holes at the Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills.

Head Coach Terrance Lynch said the girls were excited as they built on last year’s near-perfect season to chart a 12-0 overall record, with 6-0 in league play this season. The championship team includes freshmen Riley Wang, freshmen Kristina Xu, senior Kelly Xu, senior Davorah Strober, sophomore Nora Campbell, senior Olivia Yang, senior Madison Stout and junior Victoria Figueroa

“These girls, they expect to win so they’re not too overwhelmed by it. But we had a couple of close calls … matches where we weren’t at full strength. They’re not surprised by the perfect record but they’re confident,” Coach Lynch said. “Last year’s team only lost one match, so we were one match away from perfection. And then they went to the CIF finals and lost.”

The Wolfpack is one of the top ranked golf programs in CIF Division II, thanks to the squad’s depth and its two top-seeded players, Kelly Xu and her sister, Kristina Xu.

On Monday during the Palomares League preliminaries the sister duo and four teammates competed against over 20 other golfers from their league to determine who would advance to the league finals at Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills the following day.

At the finals, Kelly won her fourth consecutive league individual championship MVP award, taking first place at the course for the fourth time in her high school golf career. The senior outscored her freshman sister for first place, 151-160 over the two-days, on a Western Hills 144 par course. Kristina took second place at her first league finals appearance and both sisters qualified for CIF individual finals next Wednesday.

“We were able to qualify two of our six golfers and both Kristina and Kelly Xu will represent our league at individual CIF,” Coach Lynch said. “At least this year, Kelly had some competition, she had her sister,” Coach Lynch said.

The third-place finisher, Ayala’s junior Jamie Park, finished 20 strokes over Kelly, and 11 strokes over Kristina, highlighting the difference between the Xu sisters and their competition.
The team’s postseason will resume on November 2, when they travel to the Jurupa Hills Country Club in Riverside for CIF team finals, where they hope to write more school history and rewrite last year’s disappointing loss.

“They feel that the [CIF] title we should have won last year, we should win this year,” Coach Lynch said.

With four seniors, including Kelly, graduating, Coach Lynch said next year’s team will still have that winning mentality, with the leadership of Kristina Xu, even if they don’t control every match the way they did this year.

“I don’t think we’ll be as dominant right off as we were because this year it’s been pretty dominant. We’ve been able to win league matches by 30 shots. I think next year we’ll be very good, but might not be as dominant,” he explained. “I mean you start a team with Kristina Xu, you’re in pretty good shape.”

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