TULARE - Ken Shipley gave the politically correct answer, out of respect for the accomplishment at hand - Clovis West High's fourth consecutive Central Section girls golf championship - and because of the difficulty of what lies ahead.
"What we wanted to accomplish is four in a row," said the Golden Eagles coach, who was doing his best to stay in the moment despite his team's obviously loftier goals. "We'll start thinking about SoCal tomorrow."
Members of his team, however, couldn't help but look down the road a little, to a place the previous three Golden Eagle teams have failed to reach.
"We want to get to state this year," said Asia Adell, one of four seniors who have been around for all four Clovis West section title runs.
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Clovis West earned a spot in the Southern California Championships by shooting a 404 on Tuesday at Tulare Golf Course, 15 strokes better than second-place Frontier during the nine-team section finals. The Golden Eagles join Clovis (2001-04) as the only teams to win four straight section titles.
A top-three finish is needed Nov. 16 at the SCGA Golf Course in Murrieta to qualify for the State Championships, scheduled for Nov. 19 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.
The Golden Eagles have finished 10th (2008), seventh (2007) and seventh (2006) the past three years at the SoCal regional. But Adell, Alison Ross, Jamie Thomas and Morgan Thomas return for a fourth attempt at a state berth.
"I think we're going to be so strong at regionals," said Ross, who crossed her fingers for luck as she spoke. "I think this year will be the year.
"The four seniors especially have what it takes to get to the next level. And the back end will pick us up. It's a team effort."
Depth that is unmatched in this area carried Clovis West to the best score of its four section title victories. Only 10 strokes separated the Golden Eagles' best round (Adell's 4-over 76) from its highest (Alyssa Orito's nonscoring 86, which was better than 34 of the 54 players in the tournament).
Clovis West also received an 80 from Ross, an 81 from Camille Orito, an 83 from Jamie Thomas and an 84 from Morgan Thomas. No other team had more than four in the 80s or better.
"I feel we are improving all around," Adell said. "If we get in the correct mind-set, we can [qualify for state]. We have the talent and depth as a team."
On a warm day with faster than expected greens, Clovis West shot higher across the board than the 378 it put up last week to win the North Area tournament at Madera Municipal.
"I'm very proud of the girls. They have worked hard, are very dedicated and they keep improving," Shipley said. "This was not their strongest round, but they've played so well all year, they should do well at SoCal."
Individually, Yosemite's Amanda Rudd, who was third on the Badgers' ladder, captured medalist honors with a career-best 3-over 75. Her round, which was nine strokes better than a practice round she played on the course Monday, featured 11 pars and a birdie on the par-4 12th hole.
"I was pretty confident coming in," said Rudd, whose previous career best was an 80. "I played a practice round here to get to know the course, and obviously it helped a lot. I really got to know the greens. They were fast, but I was comfortable on them."
Rudd and Adell were the only players to shoot in the 70s. The rest of the top 5 included Clovis West's Ross, Frontier's Jordanne Barr and Mission Oak's Ava Laurenco, who all shot 80.
GIRLS GOLF RESULTS
CENTRAL SECTION TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Tulare Golf Course, par 72
Clovis West (404): Asia Adell 76, Alison Ross 80, Camille Orito 81, Jamie Thomas 83, Morgan Thomas 84, Alyssa Orito 86.
Frontier (419): Jordanne Barr 80, Meghan Shain 81, Cami Ullrich 81, Tavia Rutherford 83, Malea Miller 94, Lexi Keeter 103.
Yosemite (428): Amanda Rudd 75, Jordan Keyser 83, Kirsten Keyser 83, Rachael Hernandez 90, Brianna Smith 97, Mariana Moberly 119.
Stockdale (463): Abby Marina 81, Kaley In 86, Justine Shih 96, Ashki Patel 96, Sammy Romkey 104, Andrea Marquez 105.
Clovis North (477): Kali Herring 83, Taylor Shweiki 89, Alana Loyd 93, Alicia Hobbs 97, Caitlyn Russell 115, Sydnie Guzman 116.
Redwood (485): Christina Trujillo 82, Nina Sourysack 83, Analisa Pacheco 99, Alyson Thatcher 110, Chelesa Montemayor 111, Taylor Santiago 113.
Tulare Western (487): Kodie Stanley 88, Jordan Lapadula 89, Tara Stafford 95, Morgan McGill 104, Brianna Hollingshead 111, Lindsey Vieira 111.
Garces (487): Jasmine Rodriguez 82, Jessica Mardrid 92, Cara Clayton 95, Marcy Devin 106, Mary Noworki 112, G. Torres 171.
Mission Oak (548): Ava Laurenco 80, Cheyenne Borges 104, Lauren Friend 107, Rebekah Barnes 127, Katelyn Williams 130, Breanna Haney 139.
Advance to Southern California Championships on Nov. 16 at Murrieta.