Drama is ready to unfold as the 5A Division I girls golf state championship that concludes on Tuesday. That’s because Chandler Hamilton (286) has a one-shot lead on Phoenix Xavier (287) heading into the final round at Aguila Golf Course.
Xavier’s streak of 11 consecutive state championships dating back to 1998 is in jeopardy. Earlier this season, the Gators set a national high school record for consecutive regular season match victories (145).
The Gators’ Kaira Martin leads the field with a first-round 67 and teammate Sarah Schmelzel is tied for second with Hamilton’s Saki Iida at 69.
The Huskies and Gators own the top four spots individually and eight of the top nine spots. Gilbert Highland senior Shelby Phillips shot 72, and teammate Alex Schendelman joined Tempe Corona del Sol’s Dana Finkelstein with 77.
Tucson Salpointe Catholic is third at 337, followed by Chandler Basha (357), Tempe Corona del Sol (358) and Highland (363), Phoenix Desert Vista (367) and Phoenix Mountain Pointe (369).
Mesa Dobson (388), Mesa Red Mountain (393) and Gilbert Mesquite (409) round out the East Valley contingent in this field.
So far, the norm has held up on the boys side, where Hamilton has an early 13-stroke lead on Phoenix Desert Vista as the Huskies attempt to win a fifth consecutive 5A-I crown at Papago Golf Course.
Tucson Salpointe is in third place at 307 followed by Phoenix Brophy (308), Phoenix Mountain Pointe (312) and Mesa Red Mountain (317).
The Broncos’ David Lowe was the first-day leader at even-par 72, but eight golfers shot 73, including defending champion C.J. Kim (Hamilton), along with Huskies teammates Cameron Palmer, Doug Murphy and Ken Iida.
Red Mountain’s Jacob Allen, Phoenix Desert Vista’s Sean Buchanan and Mesa Mountain View’s Michael Willett also shot 73.
All told, 23 players are within five strokes of the lead entering Tuesday’s final round.
As expected, it’s a nip-and-tuck affair on the boys side at 500 Club, where five teams are within eight shots of the lead.
Tucson Ironwood Ridge has a one-stroke lead (296) on Scottsdale Horizon. Gilbert Perry and Scottsdale Chaparral both shot 300, with Phoenix Pinnacle next at 304.
The Huskies’ Blake Cannon fired a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke lead on Ironwood Ridge’s Alex McMahon and Zach Soucie.
Pinnacle’s Zach Wright shot a 71 with Ironwood Ridge’s Ben Esparaza, Perry’s Jordan Lowery and Chaparral’s Luke Niccoli tied at 72. Kenny McGinley added a 73 for Horizon as did Matt Record (Chaparral).
Scottsdale Chaparral leads the girls side by 21 strokes thanks to a first-round 318 at Maryvale Golf Course.
Desert Valley foe Scottsdale Desert Mountain is second at 339, followed by Tempe Marcos de Niza with 343 and Marana Mountain View at 351. Scottsdale Horizon is eighth at 374.
The Firebirds’ Jaquie LeMarr leads the pack with a 2-over 74.
Marcos de Niza teammates Shelby Martinek and Clarissa Collins each shot 75, while Horizon’s Nicole Jones fired a 76. Audrey Langhorst’s 80 leads Desert Mountain.
Eight golfers are within six strokes of the lead.
Tucson Catalina Foothills boys own a 13-stroke lead with a first-round total of 290 heading into Tuesday’s final round at Randolph Park Golf Complex in Tucson.
Foothills finished second to Scottsdale Chaparral (now in 5A Division II) the past two seasons, and took third place in 2005 and 2006.
Fellow Tucson school Canyon Del Oro is second with 304, followed by Queen Creek (318), Cave Creek Cactus Shadows (325) and Tucson Sabino (328).
Tempe McClintock (349) is in 10th place.
Scottsdale Saguaro’s Keenan Steele and Catalina Foothills senior Bill Flowers lead all 4A-I boys with a pair of 2-under 70s, but seven golfers are within four shots of the individual lead.
Defending champion Trey Kaahanui (Tempe McClintock) is tied for second with Alec Berens (Catalina Foothills) at 72.
Dylan Kornberg shot 73 and Bulldogs senior Ajay Wilson is in a tie for fourth place with a 74.
No changes on the top of the girls leaderboard either at Randolph Park, as Catalina Foothills (316) has a seven-shot lead on Vail Cienega.
Cactus Shadows is third at 330, followed by Tucson Sabino (346) and Queen Creek (384). Saguaro (444) is in eighth place.
Laura Jabczenski (CF) and Cactus Shadows’ Lindsey Weaver are tied atop the leaderboard at 72. Foothills and Cienega own five of the top eight spots on the leaderboard.
Linnea Norton (Cactus Shadows) shot 82 and teammate Samantha Jones carded an 86, followed by Sandra Navarro (Queen Creek) with 87.
It’s a tight group atop the boys leaderboard, where Scottsdale Notre Dame shot a 301 to take a five-stroke lead on Peoria Cactus.
The Saints are seeking a third consecutive 4A-II championship. They also finished second in 2006 and 2005 and won the title in 2004.
Last year’s runner-up, Chandler Seton Catholic, is in third place at 308 with Gilbert Williams Field right behind at 310. Sinagua (318) and Paradise Valley (323) round out the top six.
Logan Dix (Phoenix Thunderbird) leads the pack with a 3-under 69. Kale Davidson (Glendale Cactus) and Evan Markley (Notre Dame) shot 70 and 71, respectively. Seton’s Garrett Doughty carded a 73 and Michael Fisher (Williams Field) and Ryan Bingham (Sinagua) both shot 74.
Notre Dame is ready to capture a third consecutive state championship on the girls side, as the Saints (309) have an 80-shot lead on second-place Higley.
Verrado (410) is third, with Desert Edge and Tucson Santa Rita at 415 each.
Jackie Chang and Samantha Postillion lead the way for Notre Dame with a 70 and 72, respectively. Aubri McKee (Higley) shot 80, as did Amanda Kim from Tucson Santa Rita.
Kathlin Ardell (81) and Anna Kathryn Hughes (86) rounded out Notre Dame’s scoring. Mailin Mathiser shot 87 for the Knights.