The mindset worked for the Falcon golfer, who carded a Bay Valley Athletic League-best 76 at the Las Positas Golf Course in Livermore. Neilson, an individual qualifier for the event, missed qualifying for the NorCal Championships by one stroke. A 75 by Mackenzie Ford of McKinleyville earned the fourth and final individual spot for the next level.
Neilson said her performance at Monday’s event, her lowest score ever, will serve as a major motivator for her senior year. Now that she’s performed well at NCS, her goal in 2012 is to make it to the NorCal Championships. The top three teams and the top four finishers not from those teams advance.
“I wasn’t trying to focus on my score – just to take it one shot at a time,” Neilson said. “I’d just like to keep working hard and go into next year and do better.”
Individually, Alameda’s Carly Childs was the top golfer with a score of 64 for the third-place Hornets. The top finisher from a non-qualifying team was Kathleen Scavo of Justin-Siena. Megan Conder from Heritage was the only other individual NCS Tournament of Champions qualifier from the BVAL. The BVAL Championships winner carded an 81 on Monday.
Amador Valley’s 387 earned it the overall championship. Liberty had the best team finish of any BVAL squad, shooting 466 for 10th place. Lei Wei and Marissa Apodaca paced the league champion Lions with scores of 87.
Liberty head coach Josh Ellcessor has emphasized throughout the year the Lions’ goal of a top-10 finish at NCS, which the Lions fulfilled on Monday. The achievement was a nice cap on a successful season for Liberty.
“I thought they did an outstanding job,” Ellcessor said. “I’m really proud of them and I thought they did a good job this year … We performed well – like we have all year.”
Deer Valley, which claimed a title in the BVAL Championship match, finished 14th with a team score of 489. Taylor Coover’s 83 led the Wolverines.