Golf and Tennis Sweeping the Competition


Photo/Jane Borden

Quiana Guo competing in her singles district finals on Sept. 30.

Cora Bainbridge, Sports Manager

Since Mid-September, moderate to low-contact sports have been competing with other schools in the district. During the week of 9/30 to 10/6, State College Area High School’s (SCAHS) tennis and golf teams competed in their district championships. Senior Catelyn Janac and sophomore Quiana Guo brought home the tennis doubles district win, and junior John Olsen won for the golf team. 

Olsen is now a two-time consecutive district golf champion. Despite stormy weather canceling Olsen’s practice the night before the district championship, he persisted and continued to practice.

“I was outside hitting balls for hours in the rain,” Olsen said. “So hard work really does pay off.”

Olsen is a younger brother, and his motivation to win is fueled by the urge to beat his older brother.

“Wes[older brother] and I really enjoy playing golf together and he always tells me how good or bad I am playing. But usually, I am beating him by 10 strokes by the 5th hole,” Olsen said.

COVID-19 caused numerous challenges for athletes, but the hope for success has not left their minds. Despite the obstacles, they continue to practice every day with a mindset circled around success.

“I am just going to take it one day at a time and practice, practice, practice. I want to be able to look back in ten years and say I gave it my all,” Olsen said.

Other SCAHS teams have also moved forward with this successful mindset, tennis being one of those teams. For the past two years, SCAHS’ double team has consecutively won the district tournament, with the same two ladies leading the way. Janac, a three-time district champ, and Guo, a two-time district champ, are now consecutive district doubles champions. 

“I think that the motivation behind winning at districts was because Catelyn and I won last year, so it would be somewhat of a disappointment if we didn’t win this year,” Guo said.

Janac and Guo have been doubles partners for two years now, but given that Janac is a senior, this is the duo’s last season together.

“I would definitely say that playing with Quiana really leads to our success because she just never gives up,” Janac said. 

When playing as a duo, teammates have to balance each other in skill and mentality. Janac plays near the net on the court, usually getting the final hit of the ball, but those hits have to be set up by Guo beforehand. 

“I can set up the points so that Catelyn has an easy finish,” Guo said.

The compatibility that these two share allows them to succeed in many different ways on the court, making them a team that should never be underestimated.

In total, these three athletes have eight district championship wins. Continuing to win during these less-than-ideal circumstances only emphasizes the fact that State High athletes use the challenges set in front of them as motivation for success. They never back down from a challenge, and never give up on their dreams to win.