Claudia Souder knew that her returning Arroyo Grande High girls golf team members had sizable shoes to fill after this past season.The Eagles, coming off a highly successful 2008, lost their No. 1 player, senior-to-be Samantha Sullivan, when she transferred to Dana Hills, and their No. 2, Ali Criazzo, to graduation.But led by seniors Stina Hansson, Karissa Mattimoe and Sydney Johnson, Arroyo Grande opened this season 3-0 in PAC 7 play (5-2 overall) while rewriting the program’s record book.
“That set the stage,” Souder said of the departures of Sullivan and Criazzo. “Our seniors had been working hard over the summer knowing they’d have to contend. The kids were pretty darn determined to be good, and it’s paying off for them.”
At the San Luis Obispo Tournament on Thursday, the Eagles carded a team score of 218, breaking the tournament record by two strokes. On Oct. 1, at the Pioneer Valley Tournament, the Eagles claimed the program’s first tournament title in a decade.
That performance came on the heels of Sept. 28, when they were one stroke shy of what was then their all-time low score during a 221-276 win over Pioneer Valley at Blacklake Golf Course.
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“You usually get to a point where you plateau, and that’s just not happening,” said Souder, who credited assistant coach Rick Cohen for bettering the players’ confidence and course management. “They keep improving and improving.”
Hansson, a foreign-exchange student from Sweden, entered the week shooting an average of 44.5 — within one stroke of the school record set by Sullivan, now at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Irvine. Mattimoe, meanwhile, has dropped nearly four strokes off her showing last year, coming in at 47.1. They’re followed closely by Johnson (47.9), Brooke Bennett (52.4), Ashley Roese (52.5) and Anna Zhang (53.7).
“Last year, the fifth and sixth player would be maybe a good 10 strokes (behind) Sam and Ali,” Souder said. “This year, everyone is within five or six — and as a result, we’ve been a low-scoring team.”
CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION RANKINGSFootball: Atascadero (4-1), which had a bye last week, rose from No. 7 to No. 5 in the Northern Division poll released Monday.
Meanwhile, Arroyo Grande (4-1), coming off a 38-7 rout of San Marcos, moved from No. 10 to No. 9.
In the Northwest Division, Nipomo (3-2), which lost 27-22 to fourth-ranked Pioneer Valley, rose from eighth to sixth, while Templeton (4-1), which topped Morro Bay 35-7, climbed back into the Top 10, checking in at No. 9.
At the 8-man level, Shandon (4-1) entered the Division II poll at No. 10. The Outlaws are coming off a 32-14 win over North County Christian.
Boys water polo: Arroyo Grande (11-5) stayed at No. 5 in Division IV.
Girls volleyball: Arroyo Grande (12-2), which hasn’t lost a PAC 7 match since 2005, rose from No. 10 to No. 8 in Division I-A.
Cross country: Templeton’s girls squad entered the Division IV Top 10 at No. 9 after placing Savannah Camacho fourth (in 19 minutes, eight seconds) and Kaley Hook fifth (19:09) in the division’s small-schools 5K at the Clovis Invitational on Saturday. Morro Bay stayed at No. 8. In Division III, Atascadero remained No. 10. On the boys side, Morro Bay held firm to its No. 2 ranking in Division IV.HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONPaso Robles High inducted Clark Smith into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday night during halftime of the Bearcats’ game against El Diamante at War Memorial Stadium. Eighteen family members participated in a postgame ceremony in his honor.
Smith, a 1931 graduate, was a four-year letterman in track and field beginning in 1927, and won titles in the discus in both his junior and senior seasons — placing second in the state in both the discus and the shot put as a senior. He went on to compete at the University of San Francisco, where he won the USF Pentathlon as a sophomore.