Getting Back in the Swing of Things


Emma Hutchinson, Mirada Staff

Before every match, regardless of the opponent, girls varsity golf coach Steve Kronick gathers his team in a circle, reminding each player to play her game instead of getting bogged down in the stress of a match or the frustration over a bad shot. And every time the speech ends with the same two words: Bear Down.

The persevering spirit encouraged by Kronick diffuses throughout the group of 11 girls who are taught to play against the course rather than a specific opponent. The mindset has paid off thus far in the season, which started abruptly on Feb. 25 and is already over halfway done.

Leading the team is sophomore Veronica Cantu-Maher and senior Emma Hutchinson, Also notable is freshman Ashley Lundberg who has excelled and shows promising potential for continuing to succeed in the future.

“I have had an amazing time on the Rio golf team,” Lundberg said, expressing her joy at getting to compete in matches this season. “All of my teammates are very kind and welcoming, and we have a lot of fun practicing together.”

The cohesive nature of the team has aided their success thus far, turning in victories against El Camino, Del Campo and Capital Christian and a very close competition against the formidable Vista Del Lago.

Senior Cali Thielen, playing for her fourth consecutive season on the team, says that the close score with Vista Del Lago was very rewarding and a concrete reminder of the team’s growth.

“Being on the team for four years, I’ve gotten to see both mine and others’ growth,” Thielen said. “After playing Vista and coming very close to beating them, it was rewarding to see how hard everyone has been working after never being able to beat them in the past.”

Outside of success in dual matches, the team also hopes to find success in Capital Athletic League tournaments which will still happen even under the challenging circumstances. In dual matches as well as tournament settings, safety precautions are in place including masking, sanitation, and limited contact between players on all parts of the course.

Thielen is hopeful for this season and beyond; the improvement she has already seen in this shortened, unusual season bodes a promising future for the team.
“I’m honestly so proud of our team,” Thielen said. “Even after me and many other seniors leave, the team is going to have so much talent in the coming years.”