Girls’ golf: ‘Champion’ freshman swings her way into lineup

October 19, 2010 — by Apeksha Sharma and Samika Kumar

For No. 4 player Hallé Champion, playing on the golf team this season has solidified her hopes to excel at the game, plow her way to perfection and develop lasting friendships. With the young team losing their most experienced member, No. 1 player senior Uttara Sivaram, next year, the freshman just may become the exemplary golfer for her peers in upcoming years.

Having played golf for two years, Champion would like to hit the ball farther and be better at putting.

Though she admits she has some ways to go, her acquired skills and talents remain admired by her peers.

“I’ve seen [Hallé] hit some golf balls,” player sophomore Madison King said, “and they go really far and straight. She’s really good for a freshman.”

King believes Champion’s personality adds a unique flavor to the team.

“She is very outgoing,” said King. “She has good style with her knee-high socks and plaid pants.”

To bring more enthusiasm to matches, Champion has worn colorful knee-high socks and checkered shorts, an original trademark of hers that has instigated team spirit and optimism.

Champion’s talent has helped her immensely, and she found that tri-matches were the most exciting aspect of the season because she could make friends while honing her golf skills.

The team’s second-to-last tri-match of the season on Oct. 14, turned out to be a success. Using the sum of the team’s top four individual scores, the girls finished with one of their best overall scores—194. Saratoga High beat Lincoln by a margin of 40 but lost to its second opponent, Leland, by 7.

Champion scored a 50 on the par 35 course, mere strokes behind Sivaram and No. 2 player sophomore Samika Kumar.

“I think we were playing pretty [well], but then we got a little nervous and antsy,” Champion said. “That contributed to our score.”

Of the nine teams in the league, Saratoga High ranks near the middle. Though the team did not qualify for CCS, it sent several girls to the Coyote Creek Golf Course on Oct. 27 to try out for CCS individual qualifiers. The results could not be covered due to printing deadlines.

Champion altogether knows the team has had its ups and downs, but she is certain that she will join the team next year.

After high school, she hopes to compete in golf at the college level. Until then, however, Champion knows she will savor the upcoming years on the girls’ golf team.

“This golf season has been terrific, knowing that this has only been my first season on the team,” Champion said. “I feel [like] I am with family.”

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