Palo Alto girls golf teeing up for a good year | September 27, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - September 27, 2019

Palo Alto girls golf teeing up for a good year

Castilleja on pace for fifth straight PAL water polo title

by Rick Eymer

Palo Alto sophomore Lauren Sung tried out a new set of irons for her first round of golf at Poplar Creek Golf Course. It went well.

Sung fired a 3-under 68 to lead Palo Alto to the team title of the Helen Lengfeld Memorial Golf Tournament. The Vikings scored a team total of 351, 17 strokes ahead of second-place Harker School. Menlo School (403) finished fifth and Gunn (422) was seventh. Valley Christian placed third.

Lowell San Francisco's Lauren Shew and Harker's Natalie Vo each shot a 5-under 66 with Shew earning Low Gross honors on a tiebreaker. Sung was third, one of four Vikings to score par or better. All six Paly golfers finished among the top 10.

Katherine Sung and Madison Pineda finished in a fifth-place tie, each with a round of 70, Marina Mata (71) was eighth, Bridget O'Keefe (72) was ninth and Priya Bakhsi (73) tied for 10th, along with Menlo's Taylor Baik.

Athina Chen led Gunn with a round of 79. Menlo's Gianna Inguagiato and Vikki Xu each shot a 76. East Menlo Park resident Angelina Pohahau fired a round of 83 for St. Francis, which finished sixth.

"Everything in my game was great," said Lauren Sung, who qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur before she started her freshman year at Paly. "I had 14 putts on the front nine, which is good for me. My family drives by here on the way to San Francisco all the time and it was finally nice to play here."

O'Keefe, who qualified for the state tournament as an individual last year, was only slightly miffed at herself for "finishing second highest"on the winning team.

"We're all competitive and the goal is to beat them," she said. "At the end of the day, whatever I shoot, I root for the team."

The Vikings are the two-time defending Central Coast Section and have made winning a third one their main objective.

"That's why playing in this tournament is good practice," said Katherine Sung. "We get to play against the private schools and to see where we stand. It's good practice to see where we stand."

Palo Alto, Harker and Valley Christian finished the tournament in the same order as they did in last year's CCS tournament.

"I like this tournament because it breaks up the regular season," Pineda said. "And we play teams we don't normally see until the CCS. There's no extra pressure because we're all motivated to play our best and because we all want to win."

Playing in a tournament dedicated to the memory of Helen Lengfeld, who founded the Pacific Women's Golf Association 72 years ago to promote women's golf in Northern California, particularly junior girls golf, makes it a special for many participants.

"I've played in a couple of tournaments she created," Bakshi said. "She was such an influential person and its cool to see her work continue today. I like coming back, playing with a lot of teams. There's more competition than usual and it was a nice day to play."

Gunn's Tia Chang said the tournament showed how much mental and physical strength is needed to complete the round.

"I don't have much experience playing 18 holes and I realized how important it is to stay mentally strong," she said. "Toward the end I was getting tired and wishing I had stronger resolve. It was great meeting people from different schools. I liked that."

Girls water polo

Senior Sarah Pedley recorded four saves and the Castilleja girls water polo team swamped host Aragon 12-2 in a Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division match.

Anjali Kambham, Minhee Chung, Gabby Lewis and Lexi Triantis each scored twice for the Gators (8-5, 5-0), who host Notre Dame Belmont at 5 p.m. Friday as the league schedule reaches its halfway point.

Castilleja is the lone remaining unbeaten team in league play. Menlo-Atherton is in second place with a 3-1 record and hosted winless Half Moon Bay.

Elsa McElhinney, Serafina Cortez, Lauren Bynn-Rider and Georgia Hutchinson each added a goal for the four-time defending PAL Bay Division champion Gators.

Cross country

Gunn's Justin Chiao finished second to Los Altos' Adam Sage at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League's first center meet at Baylands Park.

Palo Alto won the girls race with 54 points, followed by Monta Vista (89) and Gunn (92) and had three runners among the top 10 finishers.

Ella Ball placed sixth in 19:38.1, Miranda Jimenez was eighth in 19:54.6 and Gretchen Berndt raced 20:21.9 to place 10th. Gunn's Maansay Rishi was seventh in 19:45.2.

Hailey Hwang was 14th in 20:37.7 and Katherine Cheng 16th in 20:42.24 to complete Palo Alto's scoring. Gunn's Izzy Hilbert placed 13th in 20:36.7 and Neha Rishi was 19th in 20:46.2.

Chiao helped Gunn place fourth while Palo Alto was seventh. Henry Moshfeghi ran ninth for the Titans while Paly's top runner was Ian Matheson with a 17:35.2, good for 10th overall.

Women's volleyball

A pair of Menlo Park residents played big parts in rallying the Brown women's volleyball team past host Georgia State 25-19, 15-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-9 in a nonconference match played in Atlanta on Sunday.

The victory gives the Bears an 8-2 record heading into their Ivy League opener at Yale on Saturday. Brown matched the best start after 10 matches in school history,

Former Menlo-Atherton standout Eliza Grover recorded five of her match-high 18 kills in the fifth set and Menlo School product Kristin Sellers produced a double-double with 40 assists and 10 digs.

The Bears have made remarkable progress since finishing 5-19 in 2016, They have improved each year since and finished 11-13 last year under new coach Ahen Kim. Grover was named to the All-Ivy League team.

Brown has not won more than 12 matches in a season since its last winning year in 2001 (16-11).

Menlo School alum Ashley Dreyer plays for Yale (4-5). She appeared in her first match of the season in a three-set victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday.

General

Former Palo Alto standout Nathan Ford will be among 11 athletes to be inducted into the Cornell University Athletics Hall of Fame at ceremonies to be held Saturday, October 5 on the Cornell campus.

The inductees will also be honored during halftime of the Cornell-Georgetown football game to be played that day.

Ford, named Cornell University's Athlete of the Year for the 2008-09 school year, served as team captain both in football and baseball for the Big Red and earned All-Ivy League honors in both sports.

A three-year starter in baseball, Ford was a first-team all-league pick as a junior and senior and a second-team selection as a sophomore. He helped guide the Big Red to a division title as a senior.

Ford graduated second on the school's career batting average list (.361) and also ranked among the all-time leaders in slugging percentage (fifth, .537), on-base percentage (sixth, 428), hits (fourth, 181), doubles (third, 38), RBI (sixth, 100) and total bases (fifth, 269), while his .410 batting average as a junior ranked third all-time in a single season.

His 59 hits that season ranked second, while his 54 hits as a senior places him in the top 10. He also graduated with the single-season record for doubles (17 in 2008), while his nine home runs as a senior ranked third with the Big Red.

In football, Ford was an honorable mention All-Ivy pick as a senior. The three-year starting quarterback led the Ivy League in both passing (281.5 yards per game) and total offense (284.9 yards per game), ranking 12th and eighth nationally in those categories, respectively, in his final season. He compiled 2,815 passing yards (second at Cornell in a single season) and 12 touchdowns while completing 61 percent of his passes.

Ford set school records for completion percentage in a career (.607), consecutive completions (17) and single-game completion percentage (.833, 25-of-30 vs. Dartmouth). Ford had four career 300-yard games and two 400-yard efforts, including a 39-of-63 passing day for 438 yards and two scores in the comeback win at Lehigh, finding teammate Jesse Baker in the end zone from 20 yards out as time expired to win the game.

His 6,266 passing yards ranked eighth in Ivy history and second at Cornell, while his 6,707 total offensive yards places him ninth in league history. Ford accounted for 37 career touchdowns (26 passing, 11 rushing).

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