Xavier Prep battles storm to win 6th straight D-I golf title

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                </div>  A big win in September’s Antigua National High School Invitational turned out to be a false sense of security for the Hamilton High girls’ golf team. The Chandler school […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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A big win in September’s Antigua National High School Invitational turned out to be a false sense of security for the Hamilton High girls’ golf team.

The Chandler school won the prestigious event that included 23 of the top teams from around the country, taking the title away from Xavier College Prep, who had won it the year before.  The Huskies won by 14 strokes and raised hopes for a Division I state title this year.

There was precedent for that line of thinking.  Hamilton won the Antigua back in 2010 and then went on to be crowned state champions that year.

It still looked like a good possibility of a repeat performance this year since the Huskies were just two strokes behind Xavier after the first round of the D-I state championship at Aguila Golf Course in Laveen.

As it turned out, that would become the final score of the tournament since a heavy storm rolled through the Valley to put an official end to the title play yesterday, leaving Xavier with the championship trophy after shooting a 293 in Wednesday’s first round.  Hamilton’s 295 resulted in another runner-up finish for the Huskies.

Hamilton’s annual quest now has become taking the state title away from the Gators, who have won six straight since losing to the Huskies in 2010.

Not an easy task.  Xavier, a small Catholic all-girls school in central Phoenix, has dominated the girls’ game for years and has now won 34 titles since 1980.  When the Huskies pulled off the upset six years ago, they broke up a 12-year title reign by the Gators.  The celebration didn’t last long, however. Xavier began winning again in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since.

This year’s state tourney finish will go in the record books as a two-stroke Xavier victory, but it would not have been that close if the rain, wind, and lightning had not caused the cancellation before the second 18 holes could be completed. The Gators were up 16 strokes on Hamilton when play was finally called after two weather delays.

It was just the second time in the history of the state tournament that weather stopped play and reverted back to the 18-hole scores of the first day.  It has been 29 years since the last time a storm over the desert was strong enough to derail a state title match.

Medalist honors went to a trio of players who tied at 2-under 70: Xavier’s Ashley Menne and Elizabeth Caldarelli and Hamilton’s Hannah Li.  It was Menne, a freshman, who earned medalist honors at the Antigua.

One other golfer finished under par.  Xavier’s Emily Mahar finished in fourth place with a 1-under 71.