Boys and girls golf teams win CCS Championships

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Alysa Suleiman

Olivia Guo (12) swings her club during the girls golf team’s Senior Night on June 10. The boys and girls golf teams both won CCS Championships last week.

by Vishnu Kannan, Co-Managing Editor

The boys and girls golf teams brought home CCS Championships last week on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The boys scored 388, five strokes ahead of second-place Mitty, and the girls followed up the next day with a score of 386, 14 strokes ahead of runner-up Valley Christian. 

Girls golf team captain Natalie Vo (12), who recently committed to play golf at the University of Colorado Boulder, was named the CCS Girls Golf Individual Champion with a tournament-low score of 71.

Head Coach Ie-Chen Cheng, who coaches both the boys and girls golf teams, describes her teams’ back to back victories at the CCS Championships as “surreal.”

“I just did a little bit of research. No school in history has ever once swept the CCS Championship [for both boys and girls], so that is just amazing,” Cheng said. “I’ve always known that they were capable, but to execute it is still a little surreal, and I just honestly cannot be any happier for them.”

The Eagles were represented by Freddy Hoch (10), Athreya Daniel (10), Aditya Tadimeti (12), Ryan Zhang (9), Carey Chang (9) and Gabriel Yang (12) on the boys side and by Natalie, Claire Chen (10), Olivia Guo (12), Tina Xu (11), Jessica Zhou (10) and Esther Wu (11) on the girls side.

Bryan Zhang (12), a member of the boys golf team, who did not participate in the CCS Championship but came to support the team, attributes the team’s success to their depth and consistency.

“Our scores were 74, 77, 77, 77 and 83, and even though none of those were in the top ten individually, we were much more consistent than the other teams across the board,” Bryan said. “That has really been the key to our success this entire year, knowing that we have each other’s backs and that each and every one of us can step up when needed.

Freddy, who scored 77, credits Coach Cheng for taking the teams down to the Laguna Seca Course in Monterey where the CCS Championships were held beforehand, so the golfers could get a feel for the course and be prepared for the various holes coming into the finals.

“It was not a spectacular course, but it was good enough. If you don’t know the course, it can be a little difficult, but [Coach Cheng] was nice enough to get us down there a couple times before to play practice rounds, so we were pretty familiar with the course going in, which was very helpful,” Freddy said.

Olivia describes the golf program as a “second family” to her, one she will miss dearly as she heads off to college next year.

“I’ll definitely miss the memories. Harker golf is my favorite part of the school year and one of the things I’ll definitely miss about being at Harker. I’m really thankful for being with this team together throughout my years here,” Olivia said.

Ultimately, Cheng is grateful for this story-tale ending to the careers of all of the nine senior golfers across both teams, most of whom have been playing under Cheng since sixth grade.

“We couldn’t have scripted a better ending for our nine senior golfers. This group has given so much to this program, to each other and to the team,” Cheng said.

Additional reporting by Alysa Suleiman.