Girl’s Golf Makes It to CIF Championships for Individual and Team

Redemption after 2018 season

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Leila Kohn/Talon

The girl's golf team poses happily during league finals, where they placed second.

The girl’s golf team qualified for the 2019 CIF championships, as well as for two individual championships.

For golf, the CIF championship is split up into two sections: individual and team. Freshmen Derica Chiu and Simran Nadig qualified for the individual championships, along with the team. The girls that compete in CIF for the team section are the best six players on the roster, which included Chiu and Nadig.

The team met two qualifications for competing in the CIF championships: ranking as a top team in league and having sufficient qualifying scores.

“The team that wins league finals goes to CIF team,” senior and team co-captain Bodia Borijin explained. “You can also go to CIF with enough qualifying scores from matches played during the season, which is how we went.”

Junior and team co-captain Ashlynn Reid was very proud of the team for getting to CIF, specifically for the new freshmen who qualified for the individual championships.

“Two of our freshmen, Simran Nadig and Derica Chiu, [are] great additions to our team. Last year we were pretty weak, and it was great to have a bunch of new freshmen who were able to complete us,” Reid said.

Derica Chiu, one of the freshmen who made it into individual, said, “Making it to individuals felt like a relief to me. The day of the tournament, I was really nervous. I felt like I had so much pressure on me. I think that’s part of the reason why I might not have played my best.”

Reid commented on the team’s impressive comeback after an unsuccessful season last year.

“Last year we didn’t get to go [to CIF], so the fact that we were able to pull out league this year was really cool,” she said.

Even though this is an exciting accomplishment for the team, Donn James, longtime coach of girl’s and boy’s golf, explained that this is not unusual per Oak Park golf history.

“We make CIF almost every year for both [the girl’s and boy’s] teams,” James said.

Once the team makes it to CIF, because of the way the sport is set up, it is a very intense competition, making it hard to place.

“We placed 15th out of 19 teams,” Borijin said.

James clarified on why golf is such a tough program to enter into.

“Golf has no divisions, so once we’re out of league, we’re playing against San Marino, Walnut, Oaks Christian, Westlake — all the big programs because there are no divisions in golf,” James said. “It’s the only sport without divisions.”

Though the team and individuals did not win this year, James was very happy with their performance in general and stressed that winning is not everything.

“[The team] came together wonderfully this year, especially after we lost the woman who was our number one player, [Ashlynn Reid], to an injury … We took as one team of the six in the league, four of the 11 all-league spots, so I was very happy with their performance. I just want them to have fun,” James said.

Chiu added, “It was a great experience. It has really been a great first year of being on the girl’s golf team.”