Girls Golf Team Captures Corner Canyon’s First State Team Title
Jul 01, 2016 08:24AM
By Ron Bevan
Members of the Corner Canyon girls golf team hold the school’s first state trophy in a sanctioned team sport. The girls won the 4A golf title May 16–17 at Wasatch Mountain Golf Course. –Photo by Debbie Connell
By Ron Bevan | [email protected]
It took less than three years, but Corner Canyon has finally earned a state championship in a high school sanctioned sport.
The Corner Canyon girls golf team took the team trophy at the 4A state tournament, held May 16–17 at Wasatch Mountain Golf Course.
“It was exciting just to win the state tournament because there are some good teams this year,” Corner Canyon coach Ryan Kartchner said. “I didn’t realize until later that it was the school’s first team title. The girls worked hard this year to make it happen.”
To win the title this year, Corner Canyon had to beat not only two-time defending state champion Provo but also former 5A powerhouse Alta, who moved down to 4A this year, as well as Bountiful, another girls golf contender.
Kartchner credited the chemistry of the team to helping them win the title.
“It was such a fun year. The girls enjoyed golfing with each other and they showed it,” Kartchner said. “This year had a little bit different feel than last year when we finished third. Our girls had team dinners weekly and really bonded.”
The team began the season with only six players, the usual size of a varsity squad with no substitutes. But the girls talked the sport up to others in the school and soon other golfers joined.
“The girls were so excited to play they wanted their friends to see how fun it was,” Kartchner said. “Some of them had relatively little experience in team golf, but they improved as the season continued.”
The Chargers finished either first or second in all of their region matches leading up to the state tournament. As such, Kartchner knew his team was ready, but anything can happen in the state tournament.
As it turned out, nearly everything good happened at state for Corner Canyon.
“Everybody played solid at state,” Kartchner said. We had a couple of girls play their best rounds. It seemed like each match this year we had a player step up and have a great round. Then when we got to state we had four that had solid scores the entire tournament.”
One of his main girls was struggling the first day of the tournament, however. Sophomore Christiana Ciasca was having a bit of an off game, according to Kartchner, until the number 12 hole. Kartchner had just spoken to Christiana a few words of encouragement prior to the hole, then he hustled one hole ahead to talk to another Charger. That’s when Christiana’s tee shot found its mark and dropped into the cup for a rare hole in one.
“I was a bit away and watched her swing, but then had turned,” Kartchner said. “When I heard the applause and screaming I knew a hole in one had been hit, and I knew it was hers because of watching the swing. It was her second hole in one in competition and it really jumpstarted the rest of her game.”
Christiana finished the round with a solid 80, third on the team behind Jamie Connell (77) and Emma Winfree (81). Christiana would shoot a 77 on the second day, with Emma and Jamie both shooting rounds of 75.
High school team golf is scored by the best four out of six scores each day. Besides Emma, Jamie and Christiana, Corner Canyon utilized the golfing skills of Kali Barlow, Makenna Kartchner and Kara Madsen. Kali was the fourth Charger golfer in the scoring column.
“Winfree led us at state and for most of the season,” Kartchner said. “She was extremely motivated from last year. She had the most improvement in the off season and she made the all state team.”
The future looks bright for a few years at Corner Canyon. Only Kara will be leaving the team as the lone senior on the squad. The rest of the team is made up of sophomores with the exception of Jamie, who was the team’s only freshman.
“With the returning players we have I think it is safe to say we are the team to watch, and the team to beat,” Kartchner said. “Winning the state title gave our girls recognition amongst their peers within the school and we have already seem some extra growth because of it.” λ