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Times of Trenton Postseason Honors, 2024

GOLFER OF THE YEAR

Megan Meng, Hopewell Valley, Sr.

Megan Meng will be remembered as one of New Jersey's greatest high school golfers of all time.

Not only did she end her career with six major tournament victories, but she did so in a historic manner.

Meng became the first girl in state history to win a boys' sectional when she captured the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 2 title. She shot 69, 3 under par, to beat Matt Merkel (Holmdel) by one stroke.

“Winning the boys portion was special for me because it's my last year of high school golf and it was my last high school tournament playing with the boys,” Meng said. “So to go out and win it was great because it capped off four wonderful years of playing for Hopewell Valley.”

Meng won her third consecutive Mercer County championship, shooting 67 (five under par) to finish fifth in the boys' tournament. She also made history last year when she became the first girl in Mercer County history to win both the boys' and girls' tournaments in the same season.

“Winning my third girls county title was special because it was incredible to see all the girls and some of my friends again at an event like this,” said Meng. “I am so proud of girls golf in New Jersey and love the playing community.”

Meng also commented on this historic achievement.

“Winning the Mercer County boys and girls titles meant a lot to me,” she said. “It's cool to hear about that legacy and know that I did something that no one else has ever done. I didn't realize at the time that it was something crazy.”

Not to be forgotten in Meng's list of accolades is her 2022 State Championship, where she won by two strokes with a score of 1 under par (72).

“It is a great honor to be named the Times of Trenton Girls Golfer of the Year,” Meng said. “I would describe my high school golf career as something that is very dear to my heart because I love the sport and the community so much. I am grateful for every moment I had on this team and the people I met and played with. I am also excited to play in college and start my next chapter.”

Meng remained modest when speaking about her achievements.

“I wouldn't say I'm the best, but that's flattering because I know I have a lot of bad days or not so great rounds,” she said. “I feel like I'm always working towards improving and can always get better. The game is getting more and more competitive and that's exciting.”

Meng explained how the people around her take her game to the next level.

“I owe my golf game to my support system,” she said. “I'm lucky to have amazing and loving parents, wonderful coaches and people who help me play this sport. I owe my game to training, just like everything else, but it's true.”

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Princeton has accomplished a lot in two years.

For the second year in a row, Princeton can call itself Team of the Year after winning the Mercer County championship for the second year in a row, defeating Lawrenceville by one stroke (326-327) in the Tigers' second season as a team.

Junior Jacqueline Zang led Princeton with a 73, six strokes behind senior Megan Meng (Hopewell Valley). Sophomore Kyuyoung Chung and senior Tia Sindhu also earned top-10 finishes, with Chung placing fifth (78) and Sindhu placing ninth (81).

Freshman Yasna Shahriarian finished 22nd with 94 points, while junior Shreya Gaekwad finished 26th with 97 points.

Princeton also had a great day at the Central Jersey Sectional Tournament, finishing third with 341 points, 14 strokes behind Wardlaw-Hartridge and 28 behind Pingry. Zang finished second in a card match with 70 points, one stroke behind leading junior Zoey Zhu (Ridge).

Chung finished 12th with 81, Tia Sindhu finished 22nd with 89. Gaekwad finished tied for 35th with 101, while Shahriarian finished 38th (103).

The Tigers finished sixth at the NJSIAA state championship with 344 points. Zang led her team with 75 points to a 13th-place finish, seven strokes behind winning sophomore Ysabel Liu (Millburn).

Chung finished 38th with 83, while Sindhu finished 53rd with 90. Gaekwad also finished 62nd (96), while Shahriarian finished 65th (97).

Princeton finished fourth in the Lady Bombers Tee-Off Classic with 345 points, six strokes behind the winner from South Brunswick. Zang finished second with 69 points, six strokes behind defending champion Vidhi Lakhawala (South Brunswick).

Sindhu finished 12th with an 83, while Chung finished 14th with an 86. Gaekwad also finished 30th (91), while Shahriarian finished 32nd (93). Junior Raima Srivastava finished 37th (97), while junior Rachel McInerney finished 43rd (99). Sophomore Alice Ye finished 54th (102).

Princeton finished match play 8-0 and was ranked No. 6 in NJ.com's Top 10.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Curtis Robinson, Lawrenceville

A year after Lawrenceville finished third in the prep championships, it jumped to the top spot after finishing four strokes ahead of Wardlaw-Hartridge.

Freshman Rebecca Chen finished three strokes behind senior Sarah Shao (Wardlaw-Hartridge) after finishing in second place with a score of 77. Two other Big Red players earned top-10 finishes: Sophomore Isabella Wang finished in fourth place with a score of 81, while freshman Nicole Li finished in eighth place with a score of 82.

Sophomore Whitney Anttila finished just outside the top 10, placing 11th with a score of 88, while senior Asprey Walters placed 15th with a score of 91.

Lawrenceville missed the game by one stroke, defeating reigning Mercer County champion Princeton 327-326.

Chen and Wang finished in the top five. Chen finished fourth with 76 points and Wang fifth with 78 points. Wang and Li were also successful for the Big Red, sharing 11th place (82). Anttila finished 16th (87) and Walters 21st (92).

Lawrenceville finished first in the Swing Against Cancer Invitational with 332 points, 10 strokes ahead of Hill (PA). Wang also finished first in the individual standings by one point.

Three Big Red players finished in the top 10: Chen tied for fourth with 82, Li tied for sixth with 86 and Anttila tied for eighth with 87. Sophomore Anne Clifford-Levy tied for 27th (109).

TEAM FOR ALL AREAS

Rebecca Chen, Lawrenceville, Fr.

Chen led Lawrenceville to a prep championship after finishing second with 77, three strokes behind Sarah Shao (Wardlaw-Hartridge).

Chen also had two top-five finishes: he finished fourth at the Mercer County Tournament with a 76 and finished fourth at the Swing Against Cancer Golf Invitational with an 82.

Kyuyoung Chung, Princeton, So.

Chung had a solid season, finishing fifth at the Mercer County Tournament and 12th at the Central Jersey Sectional Tournament with a score of 81.

Chung also placed 14th at the Lady Bombers Tee-Off Classic with 86 points and 38th at the State Championships with 83 points.

Emerson Paulette, Allentown, Sr.

Paulette led Allentown to a Monmouth County championship after finishing third with a 73, three strokes behind winner Sirina Ganne (Holmdel). She also finished third in the South Jersey Sectional Tournament with a 72, four strokes behind leader Angelina Tolentino (Lenape).

Paulette led the Redbirds to a second-place finish at the Lady Bombers Tee-Off Classic, finishing fifth with 76 points. She finished seventh at the Mercer County Tournament with 79 points and finished 32nd at the State Tournament with 80 points.

Paulette contributed to a 12-3 season record for the Redbirds.

Charlotte Reid, Allentown, Fr.

Reid led Allentown in the Mercer County Tournament, finishing third with a score of 75, two strokes behind Jacqueline Zang (Princeton) and eight strokes behind Megan Meng (Hopewell Valley).

Reid also earned two top-10 finishes in the South Jersey Sectional (83) and the Monmouth County Tournament (78), finishing sixth in both tournaments.

Reid earned a top-five finish at the Lady Bombers Tee-Off Classic, where she placed fourth with a score of 73. She also placed 38th at the state tournament with a score of 83.

Jacqueline Zang, Princeton, Jr.

Zang led Princeton to its second consecutive Mercer County Championship with a score of 73, finishing second, six strokes behind Megan Meng (Hopewell Valley).

Zang finished second in a card game at the Central Jersey Sectional Tournament with 70 points, one stroke behind Zoey Zhu (Ridge), while her team finished third.

Zang also finished second at the Lady Bombers Tee-Off Classic with a 69, six strokes behind defending champion Vidhi Lakhawala (South Brunswick). She finished 13th at the state tournament with a 75, seven strokes behind winner Ysabel Liu (Millburn).

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Craig Epstein can be reached at cepstein@njadvancemedia.com.

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