Golf races are winding up, but no champs crowned yet


Four girls golf teams are still in the running for league dual-match titles, which should be decided by the end of this week.

The Santa Clara Valley Athletic League race, once again, should be decided Thursday when Palo Alto and Gunn square off at Santa Teresa Golf Course in San Jose at 3 p.m.

Gunn brings an 11-0 league mark (12-1 overall) into the showdown after defeating Homestead, 219-277, on Tuesday at Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club. Senior Anna Zhou led the Titans with a 2-under 34 with freshman Lydia Tsai next with a 38.

Lianna McFarlane-Connelly (48), Sabrina Chen (48) and Margaret Redfield (51) rounded up the scoring for Gunn, which shared the dual-match title with Palo Alto last season.

Palo Alto brings a 9-1 league mark (10-1 overall) into Thursday's match, which will be held on the same course hosting the league tournament on Oct. 28, following a 177-180 win over Lynbrook at the par-30 Deep Cliff Golf Course in Cupertino.

Senior Michelle Xie had birdies on the par-3 first and ninth holes and finished with an even-par round of 30. Emily Hwang had one birdie in a round of 33 with Elise Kiya carding a 36, freshman Stephanie Yu a 37 and Celia Willner a 41.

Paly trailed by two strokes with only the last group to finish. Yu's score provided the difference in the match.

"This was Stephanie's first match back after an elbow injury that has kept her out for the past month," said Paly coach Doyle Knight. "It was nice having her back."

Gunn still has matches next week against Los Gatos and Monta Vista while Palo Alto plays a tri-match against Wilcox and Monta Vista on Wednesday. The Titans and Vikings have easily handled those opponents this season. Thus, Thursday's showdown will decide either an outright title for Gunn or another co-championship.

In the West Bay Athletic League, Castilleja grabbed sole possession of first place on Tuesday with a 209-232 victory over erstwhile co-leader Menlo School at the Stanford Golf Course.

The Gators improved to 6-1 and avenged their only loss (to Menlo) as senior Chloe Sales led the way with a 39. Seniors Danielle and Nicole Mitchell each turned in 41s, freshman Cosi Layton shot 42 and junior Paris Wilkerson wrapped up the scoring with a 46.

Menlo fell to 5-2 (6-2 overall) as it struggled on the greens. Freshman Sophie Siminoff led the Knights with a 41 while juniors Jessie Rong and Nicole Henderson each shot 46. Lauren Yang (48) and Claire Wilson (51) wrapped up the scoring.

While Castilleja took control of the race, the Gators weren't able to celebrate a title. Castilleja must face third-place Sacred Heart Prep on Wednesday at Palo Alto Hills, while Menlo takes on Notre Dame-San Jose. The Knights tee off at 3 p.m., with the Castilleja match to follow.

Sacred Heart Prep (4-2-1, 6-3-1) can play spoiler with a win over Castilleja. The Gators tuned up by beating Notre Dame-SJ, 213-270, on Tuesday at San Jose Muni.

Jessica Koenig and Lauren von Thaden led SHP as each shot a 3-over 39. Maddy Ellison (43), Cami Steppe (45) and Emi Hartman (47) wrapped up the scoring against the winless Regents.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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