The Mater Dei Catholic High School girls golf team helped raise the bar for the sport within the Metro Conference by capturing this year’s Mesa League, San Diego Section Division II and Southern California regional championship titles.
The Crusaders topped off their season of plenty when junior Brianna Navarrosa, this year’s San Diego Section individual champion, captured the individual state championship in competition Nov. 14 at the Victoria Club in Riverside.
Navarrosa finished with a score of 4 under par 68 to win by two strokes over Irvington’s Mika Jin.
The talent-laden Mater Dei Catholic squad finished fifth among teams at the state tournament.
The Crusaders, who started the season with their first practice in mid-August, was comprised of nine girls: seniors Valeria Ruiz and Itzel Gonzalez; juniors Navarossa, Ivanna Montemayor, Jessica Moreno Reyes, Mariana Garcia Rosette; sophomores Estibaly Garcia, Sofia Torres and freshman Sada Jackson.
After finishing a 19-0 dual match season the team went on to win the Mesa League team title. Navarrosa earned recognition as the Mesa League Player of the Year while Montemayor earned honors as the tournament champion.
Overall, four girls earned first team all-league honors: Navarrosa, Montemayor, Moreno Reyes and Garcia. Garcia Rosette and Ruiz earned second team all-league honors.
“Pretty nice,” MDCHS assistant coach Bill Gerken commented.
The section championship tournament took place Oct. 29 and Oct. 31 at the Admiral Baker South course.
Navarrosa won her second section title in three years by shooting a 7-under-par 137. The Crusaders swept the top three place-finishing positions as Montemayor finished second with a 1-under score and Garcia was third at even par.
The Mesa League champions finished a distant 110 strokes ahead of Our Lady of Peace, the runner-up team.
The team title was the second in school history for Mater Dei Catholic, which finished runner-up last year to Rancho Bernardo (this year’s Division I champion).
Both Rancho Bernardo, which finished ahead of runner-up Scripps Ranch, and Mater Dei Catholic qualified for the regional championships as divisional section champions.
Mater Dei Catholic finished 43 points ahead of Rancho Bernardo as a point of reference.
The Southern California regionals took place Nov. 8 at the Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena. Navarrosa, who has committed to USC, shot a 4-under 69 to finish second by one shot among individuals.
However, the Crusaders managed to win the regional championship team title by 14 strokes over Fullerton Troy. Navarrosa led Mater Dei Catholic on the course with a score of 69, followed by Garcia at 74, Montemayor at 77, Moreno Reyes at 79 and Ruiz at 79.
The Crusaders shot 397 at the state championship, finishing just four strokes behind fourth-place finisher Granite Bay, nine strokes behind third-place finisher Diamond Bar and 13 strokes behind second-place finisher Dougherty Valley.
Troy won the state title with a score of 382 — 15 strokes ahead of Mater Dei Catholic.
Montemayor and Garcia tied for 38th among individuals with an 82 score while Moreno Reyes was 50th at 86. Garcia Rosette finished 51st at 88.
Overall, the Metro Conference had a good showing at this year’s section tournament. Bonita Vista sophomore Melanie Reyes finished in a tie for 10th at 4-over while senior teammate Hannah Jugar finished in a tie for 14th at 6-over.
Mater Dei Catholic’s Alex Valenzuela earned recognition as the San Diego Section Coach of the Year.