It’s often hyperbole to say an athlete set “a record that can never be broken.”
But that’s not the case when Athens Drive senior girls golfer Jennifer Chang set a state record for state championships on Tuesday.
She won her fourth N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A title – one for each year of high school. She’s the first NCHSAA golfer to do so, and it’s a mark no one else has the ability to break.
“Going on from freshman year when I won, there’s something that drives me to want to win again,” said Chang, who will play at Southern Cal next year. “It hasn’t sunken in yet. There’s no words to describe it. I’m really proud of myself (and) my team has been there for me every year.”
Chang was under par on both days, a 69 on Monday’s first round and 70 on Tuesday at the Pinehurst No. 1 course. She was seven strokes ahead of Garner’s Kayla Ward, who was third when she and Chang were freshmen.
“I think overall I had a good short game and a good putting game and a good swing overall. Just making pars out there was important,” said Ward, who finished in the state’s top 15 in all four of her years. “Out of all these girls, it’s a privilege to be second. Jenny Chang is amazing. It would be tough to beat her any day, so I’m proud to finish second to her.”
Nine area players finished in the top 13: Chang (5-under); Ward (2-over); Cardinal Gibbons’ Megan Kanaby (T-3rd, 5-over), Hannah Rose Bruxvoort (fifth, 6-over), Hailey Freedman (T-10th, 12-over) and Emily Brubaker (13th, 13-over); Pinecrest’s Jaclyn Kenzel (T-3rd, 5-over) and Mackenzie Battle (T-10th, 12-over); and Wakefield’s Lotte Fox (T-10th, 12-over). Gibbons’ fifth player, Camryn Fletcher, was tied for 23rd (18-over).
Gibbons tops Pinecrest in 4A
By placing its top three players in the top 10, Cardinal Gibbons shot a 454 (22-over) win by seven strokes and claim its second state championship in three years.
“Golf is more of an individual sport, but in this setting you really have to come together as a team,” said Kanaby, a junior. “So we just made sure we were really strong in our belief in ourselves and our other teammates and that really brings us closer together and kind of us that unity that gives us the edge.”
Defending champ Pinecrest (461) was second, followed by Athens Drive (488) in third. Green Hope was ninth in the 11-team field.
“Our putting and chipping was much better today, we just had a few bad holes out there,” Pinecrest coach Lynne Beechler said.
Pinecrest’s Mara Hirtle and Lorin Wagler and Rolesville’s Randi Vedeld all tied for 18th (17-over). Apex Friendship’s Caroline Duggan was 25th (19-over), Athens Drive’s Kayla Parsons was tied for 26th (20-over), Broughton’s Diana Lee was 29th (21-over), Pinecrest’s Katie Ochoa was tied for 31st (23-over), Green Hope’s Lauren Nee was 35th (25-over), Broughton’s Cate Brewer tied for 36th (26-over), Sanderson’s Alicia Carlson tied for 39th (27-over) and Green Hope’s Anika Bhatnagar tied for 44th (29-over).
Floyd second in 3A
For the second straight year, Northwood’s Katharina Floyd was the NCHSAA 3A runner-up. Floyd shot a 4-over-par at the Foxfire Resort and Golf Club in Jackson Springs to finish three strokes back and tied with Kayla Smith of Williams High in Burlington.
West Johnston’s Grace Olmstead (17-over) was 10th, Triton’s Kathryn Elliott 11th (19-over) and Cleveland’s Darby Reeder (26-over) 18th. Lee County’s Morgan McRae was 22nd, C.B. Aycock’s Abby Sauls was tied for 25th and Smithfield-Selma’s Natalie Hill tied for 31st.
In the team standings, Lee County was sixth, C.B. Aycock eighth and Triton ninth.
Rockingham County was the state champion, led by individual medalist Hailey Joy (1-over).
Patrick 6th in 1A/2A
Falls Lake Academy was ninth at the NCHSAA 1A/2A championships, and South Granville’s Claire Patrick took sixth overall (23-over) at the Longleaf Golf & Country Club in Southern Pines. N.C. School of Science and Math’s Evin Flinchum was 16th and Voyager Academy’s Anna Teer Barringer was 36th.
Currituck County was the team champion and Katherine Shuster of First Flight, located in Kill Devil Hills, was the state champ with an even-par.
Ravenscroft runner-up in NCISAA
Ravenscroft took runner-up in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association championship hosted by the Whispering Pines Country Club. The Ravens (465) were 19 strokes back of Concord’s Cannon School (446).
Holly McCann led the way for Ravenscroft, taking third overall (3-over), eight strokes behind Asheville School’s Rachel Keuhn (5-under). Later on the same day, the American Junior Golf Association named McCann to its Scholastic Junior All-America Team.
Ravens teammates Carson Jenkins (12-over) tied for ninth and Deb Spair (18-over) tied for 13th. Nicole Adam of The O’Neal School in Southern Pines was eighth overall (5-over), Cary Academy’s Erin Singleton (27-over) was 18th and North Raleigh Christian Academy’s Rachel Weyne (31-over) was 20th.
Cary Academy was sixth in the eight-team field and NRCA was eighth.