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Marina Doesn't Waste Reprieve

Girls' golf: Nearly out of playoffs because of six league forfeits, Vikings win divisional title.


Huntington Beach Marina, nearly ousted from the girls' golf playoffs last week for rules violations, made the most of its second chance Monday by winning the Southern Section Southern Divisional championship at Green River Golf Club in Corona.

The Vikings, which had to forfeit six regular-season matches for using an academically ineligible player, shot a team score of 440 in blustery winds and finished eight shots ahead of runner-up Anaheim Esperanza.

Villa Park, which uses Green River as its home course, shot 449 and finished third. Fullerton Rosary finished fourth at 454 and Dana Point Dana Hills shot 460 to finish fifth. The top five advance to the section finals Thursday at Desert Willow Resort in Palm Desert.

The victory was vindication of sorts for Marina, which has been The Times' top-ranked team most of the season.

The Vikings dropped to fourth place in the Sunset League as a result of the forfeits and made the playoffs only because third-place finisher Los Alamitos did not meet the section scoring requirements for playoff competition.

The decision drew the ire of several opposing coaches, who questioned whether a fourth-place team belonged in the playoffs, but Marina answered the questions with a six-over-par 78 from sophomore Jane Chin and a 79 by freshman Jennifer Osborn on a day when only seven of the 113 players broke 80.

"People have questioned us all year," Coach Frank Ruotolo said. "First they said our home course [Meadowlark] is an easy course--that's baloney. We had to get through Esperanza twice in league and today, in tough conditions and under pressure of the playoffs, the girls really came through."

Kayley Parrett shot 80 and Jennifer Larson shot 87 to lead Esperanza, which is ranked No. 4 and lost twice to Marina on the course, but earned the Sunset title after the Marina forfeits.

"I still think we shouldn't be counted out," Esperanza Coach Mike Davis said. "But it's not going to be easy to knock off Marina--they're tough."

Central Divisional--Jennifer Tangtiphaiboontana shot two-under 70 to lead No. 3 Long Beach Wilson to the division title.

The Bruins shot 422 and won by nine shots over No. 2 Palm Desert, which was led by Ashley Forbes' 77. Marina Choi shot 73 for No. 8 Redondo Union, which was third with a 445.

Murrieta Valley shot 462 to finish fourth and Mark Keppel finished fifth with a 467.

Northern Divisional--Annika Windon shot seven-over 78 and Mariko Makabe shot 82 for No. 7 Palos Verdes Peninsula, which won the division title.

The Panthers shot 429 and won by 19 shots over runner-up Goleta Dos Pueblos, which is unranked.

Emma Stachowicz shot 73 for No. 9 North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, which finished third at 468.

No. 6 Camarillo was fourth with a 471 and unranked South Torrance was fifth at 493.

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