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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL GOLF: Van Horn's Corralez punches ticket to state, Vega takes team title - Odessa American: Sports

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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL GOLF: Van Horn's Corralez punches ticket to state, Vega takes team title

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 9:09 pm

The final round of the Region I-2A Girls Golf Championships on Thursday turned into a battle of survival and who could best handle the pressure.

When all the scores were checked, a number of first-timers were able to punch tickets to the state tournament.

Among those is Van Horn junior Annika Corralez, who shot a final-round 87 to finish as the second individual qualifier for the Class 2A state tournament set to take place May 12-13 at Roy Kizer Golf Club in Austin.

Razyl Yanez of Forsan (81-82—163) and Jaclyn Biggerstaff of Christoval (95-87—182) were the other individual qualifiers for state.

Corralez, who finished with a two-round total of 167, said that the course played tougher and that she had to adjust accordingly.

“The pin placements were a little bit tougher and we had to play the ball down today as opposed to (Wednesday),” she said. “That’s what made it a little bit tougher.”

It was an anxious wait for Corralez, who started her final round off the No. 10 tee and had to wait almost two hours ahead of the team leaders to see what her fate would be.

After finishing one spot out of qualifying for state last year, a sense of relief came over Corralez after the final scores were posted and she knew she was in.

“It feels great after trying for the last two years,” Corralez said. “Even though I had a little bit of a rough day today, I just came out and played the best I could to make sure that I had a chance.”

Corralez was not the only individual who ended up doing a lot of waiting.

The battle for the regional team title turned into a two-team race between squads from the Panhandle. Vega and Stratford were put together in the final groups along with McCamey and Haskell.

And even though Thursday proved to be more difficult, Vega was able to hold on and take its first regional title under head coach Tiffi West.

“We were third last year, so this was the most incredible experience for us,” West said. “I saw the team battle through adversity and that’s what we’ve talked about all year long.

“It paid off for us today because we knew we had to be physically and mentally tough all day today.”

The Lady Longhorns were led by senior Allie Joyce, who shot a final round 83 to finish fifth overall with a two-day total of 169.

She was able to improve her score from the first day by three strokes and said she was just simply able to find a way to get it done.

“The course played a little bit different today,” Joyce said. “A lot of teams struggled today but you just have to battle through the adversity.

We just had to stay mentally focused on your game and not on what’s going on around you.”

For Stratford, there was still plenty to celebrate. Senior Katelin Berry finished as the regional champion (76-85—161) as the Lady Elks finished in second place and qualified for the state tournament for the first time in program history.

“It feels great to make history today,” Berry said. “It’s great for our school and our community. Coming from a small town like Stratford and accomplishing what we did is just amazing and I’m proud of all the girls for the hard work we’ve put into it.”

Haskell (399-414—813)finished in third to jump past fourth-place McCamey (398-427—825) to get the last team spot out of Region I.

Demre Abalos (96-94—190) finished as the low Lady Badger for the tournament.

>> OTHER AREA RESULTS: The Iraan girls golf team finished ninth after shooting a final round 464 to finish the tournament with a two-day total of 909. Madison Salinas (100-105—205) was the low Bravette for both rounds.

Wink medalist Ashlee Blackburn finished the day with a two-day total of 205 after shooting a 103 Thursday.

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

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