Striding into states: Orange athletics advances into state tournaments
Usually around the time of Nov. or Oct., high school fall sports tend to wrap up. However, for many sports, the real competition is just beginning, as many of the teams were able to work their way into states.
Girls golf made history once again by going to the Division 1 State Championship for the third consecutive year. They finished second in the competition, after being state champions the prior two years.
“The path to states was fun yet challenging. The team faced a few injuries and there were many matches where the whole team didn't get to play together, which put us at a disadvantage. However, every time we were together, we had so much fun and had many memorable experiences,” senior girls golf player Ashly Au said.
The team had an incredible season, with some even more notable achievements being that the team won OCCs. It placed in a podium spot in every match but one this season.
“I believe that the reason we were such a successful and great team in general was because of our team chemistry. All four years everyone was able to get along, and we had so much fun together. We put the team first,” Au said.
The team has made immense progress in such a short time. Just four short years ago, the team had only placed 13th in the state competition.
“I'm so happy and proud that we made it to states again this year. We knew it would be a tough challenge to do so, but we did our best, and it paid off; getting to go to states all four years with the team was a dream come true,” Au said.
Another team that worked its way to the top was the girls tennis team. For the first time in the 10 years since the school opened, a tennis team went to states. It placed fourth overall in the state championship.
“We had two team goals, and they were to win the OCCs and to make it to team states. The girls were also working towards making it to states as a doubles team or individual,” head girls tennis coach Susan Storrer said.
Additionally, the team had many other achievements throughout the season, including beating long-standing rival Liberty to win OCCs, the second time ever for the girls’ program.
“I think there were multiple factors that contributed to our success this season, but the bond that most of the girls built to work together as a team was one of the key factors; in addition, the players worked harder than ever in the preseason, and that really showed,” Storrer said.
For cross country, both the girls and boys teams ran at the regional meet to just fall short of qualifying for states. However, seniors Allie Guagenti and Andrew Schroff managed to make it individually.
“States is a very hard thing to qualify for. Staying healthy and in good shape is a hard thing to do for a whole season starting in June. I’m very thankful to have a good coach that has trained me for this race the whole season, and I couldn’t be more excited to run in it,” Schroff said.
Guagenti qualified with a time of 18:58 minutes and placed sixth overall at regionals. Schroff qualified with a time of 16:06 and placed fifth overall at regionals.
“Going to states is something that you have to work for the whole season. It will be the first time I am running there, so I’m excited to go compete with some of the best,” Schroff said.