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Crusaders topple state record by a whopping 24 strokes, take down defending champ Westview

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior Tabetha Kang and the Crusader girls golf team celebrate their Class 6A state title on Tuesday at Trysting Tree.

The charge of Crusader green-and-white striped polos with the crisp off-white visors and black skirts streamed straight at the smiling Tabetha Kang on the 18th green of Trysting Tree Golf Club.

As Kang putted home the final stroke of the Jesuit girls golf team's season, punctuating an unforgettable two-day Class 6A state championship extravaganza, the junior allowed the swarm of exuberant teammates to rush over her like a baptism of sorts.

After three years of toil, this is what Kang and the Crusaders envisioned. Jesuit shot a two-day total of 603, breaking the previous state record by astounding 24 strokes to take home the 6A state crown.

"I wasn't really sure what happened," Kang said with a laugh. "I wasn't trying to get my hopes up too soon, so when my team came at me I was like 'Oh wow, is this really happening?' It was like a dream. It's indescribable. I'm still in awe that we got the title and we're bringing it home."

Westview's 612 beat the state record, too. West Linn's 627 nearly did. But the Crusaders were in another world all on their own, placing Kang (fourth overall), sophomore Mary Scott Wolfe (sixth overall) junior Clara Ganz (eighth overall) and Haley Hummelt (18th overall) all in the top-20.

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit sophomore Mary Scott Wolfe tied for sixth overall at the Class 6A state title on Tuesday at Trysting Tree.

"We've been building up this team for quite a while now," Kang said. "We all worked really hard for this moment. Everyone on the entire team, we've all pushed each other and worked to get to where we are today."

Two years ago Kang and the Crusaders placed sixth and upped their finish to third last season. Trysting Tree is a fairly open course with inviting fairways and lush greens. Putting was paramount for the Crusaders, who cashed in around the short range. Kang shot a 146 over the two days while Wolfe bagged a 150, Ganz scored a 151, Hummelt tacked on a 156.

"It's really nice to know we left our mark here," Kang said. "The whole team deserves it. Everyone here played really well. We just had to trust our game. We've been practicing so hard this season and in the off-season as well. We had to know we could do it and know we would support each other."

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior Clara Ganz hugs her teammates after finishing the 18th hole at the Class 6A state title on Tuesday at Trysting Tree.

The Crusaders were a small team with just nine players on the roster but they were a tight-knit group who had faith in each other and protected each other out on the links.

"We're all really close," Kang said. "We're a young team, too. We can all bond over things and it's really easy to talk to each other. We always support each other, which is really important."

Westview finished second as sophomore Alexa Udom tied for top medalist honors with an overall 142 including a 70 in the second round on Tuesday. Senior May Wang and junior Jessica Ponce tied for 13th overall (153). Senior Cassidy Krauss placed 30th and Jennifer Kang tied for 38th.

Sunset finished in sixth place overall, marking a fourth consecutive top-seven finish at the state meet for the lauded Apollo program. Sophomore Franca Polla tied for 10th, shooting a 72 in the second round and 152 overall. Senior Alisha Kobayashi shot a 163 and tied for 28th. Senior Lauren Preston tied for 38th overall (172), Megan Pearce tied for 71st (195) and Kyle Layden tied for 77th (204).

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset senior Alisha Kobayashi tied for 28th at the Class 6A state title on Tuesday at Trysting Tree.

Southridge senior Aerin Song finished in 15th place (154). Aloha senior Melia Nordberg tied for 28th (163) and Beaverton junior Nicole Posner (166) took 31st. Fellow Beaverton junior Michiko Murai placed 50th overall (179) and Mountainside sophomore Katie Lee tied for 52nd (181). Maverick freshman Cydney Chhim (192) tied for 68th.

For more on Udom's state title visit www.beavertonvalleytimes.com.

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