End of a 12-year golf reign: Hamilton HS beats Xavier Prep

Bill Clinton was just starting his second term as the 42nd President when the Xavier Prep golf team started its string of consecutive 5A-I girls’ state championships.

That streak began in 1998, but the Gators also lay claim to 28 of the last 30 state team titles.  Now we’re talking Jimmy Carter.

It got to the point where teams knew when the season started most years that they were playing for second place.  Xavier was that good.

And the most frustrated of all those teams lately has been Hamilton High School in Chandler.  The Huskies were runner-up the past two years and, over the past seven years, have placed second three times and third twice.

Their run at Xavier last year resulted in the closest state championship in the past 10 years.

But that all came to a screeching halt yesterday.  The walls of the dynasty came tumbling down.

And it’s only fitting that it was Hamilton that did the dismantling.  And they did it in dominating fashion, shooting a 2-over-par 562 to beat the Gators by 22 strokes.  The Huskies claimed the school’s first girls’ state golf title by taking a 14-stroke advantage on Friday and then closing it out yesterday by overwhelming the Dell Urich Golf Course in Tucson.

Last year, the Huskies also thought they had a handle on things when they were ahead of Xavier after the first day.  But they went on to finish eight strokes behind the Gators for their second consecutive runner-up trophy.

Hamilton junior, Kyung Kim, took this year’s individual medalist honors as well, finishing Friday’s round at 6-under and then coming back the next day with a par round to card a 134 total, six strokes ahead of Junior Sarah Schmelzel from Xavier.

This is the first time since 2005 that the individual medalist has not come from a Xavier team.

The top five players atop the leader board were from either Hamilton or Xavier.  Younjin Kim, a junior from Hamilton, carded a 142 for third place, and senior Maira Martin (Xavier) and sophomore Saki Lida (Hamilton) tied for fourth place at 144.

Kyung Kim was at the forefront of a Hamilton team loaded with talent and expected to make a run at the title again this year.  They returned all of their top players from last year’s squad, which is coached by Kevin Krahenbuhl.

Chaparral HS in Scottsdale shot 628 to claimed third place, just a stroke ahead of Salpointe Catholic in Tucson.

In 5A-II play, Catalina Foothills HS in Tucson won the team state championship at Silverbell GC in Tucson and also shared a piece of the individual title as Laura Jacbczenski shot a 145 to tie Jordan Carter from Cienega HS in Vail for the award.

The Falcons shot a 646 to finish 18 strokes ahead of runner-up Cienega.

Cactus Shadows HS in Cave Creek, which finished in fourth behind Scottsdale’s Notre Dame Prep, shared in some of the honors as two of its players finished in the top five.  Laurie Snyder shot a 157 for fourth place and Kelsey Gilchrist‘s 161 was good enough for a fifth-place tie.