DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

200 is a big number for Gator golfers

Two hundred of anything is a lot of something.
How about 200 M&Ms? Or 200 text messages from your friends? Or 200 pages to read for homework? Uh oh, better get going.
And then there are the 200 consecutive victories by the XCP golf team.
The Gators reached that lofty location on Monday (Sept. 29) by defeating Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor and Phoenix Barry Goldwater in a three-way match at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen.
The streak goes all the way back to Oct. 6, 1996.
Xavier extended its national record. The previous mark was 188, by Notre Dame Academy of Hingham, Mass.
XCP has had a lot of good teams (31 state titles) and a lot of good players. Athletic director Sr. Lynn Winsor has been the coach through all of it. She is proud of what this year’s team has accomplished and what its predecessors accomplished.
She knows that wherever the ball lands on the course, the next shot can create its share of challenges, some of them not necessarily good. But the girls do a great job fighting through any adversity.
“Every hole is a new shot,’’ she said. “It’s like going into a new house. You might not like one room, but there is a new door that opens to another.’’
Winsor tried to downplay the No. 200 possibility entering the match, so as to not put extra pressure on her golfers.
This year’s team is made up of seniors Madison Kerley, Ariana Macioce and Rebecca Redhorse, juniors Mikayla Fitzpatrick, Alisa Snyder and Jessika Zanotti, sophomores Elisabeth Calderelli, Emily Mahar and Lily Worden and freshman Madeline Brown.
Kerley was the medalist on Monday by shooting a 33. She said she knew 200 was coming up, but had forgotten and was surprised when Winsor and co-coach Tui Selvaratnam told the team afterward.
“It’s exciting,’’ Kerley said. “You try to treat every match the same and not add any pressure.’’
Zanotti admitted she might have been a little more nervous had she known ahead of time.
“Everything worked out,’’ she said. “It’s very exciting. You only get so many opportunities to do something like this. It is something you will always remember.
“We have a great team. We are very close this year.’’
As a freshman, Brown is fitting right in. She is well on her way of reaching her goal of becoming a state champion for the Gators.
“I have been very honored to be a part of this tradition,’’ she said. “To think about all the good golfers who started this, who graduated before us, is pretty amazing. Hopefully, we can win more matches.’’
The Gators did not practice on Tuesday (Sept. 30) and met to enjoy their achievement with a celebratory cake.
“Success on the golf course can make girls want to come here, because Xavier has a great reputation for that as well as the educational and religious aspects,’’ Winsor said.

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