Howard County Times sports editor Brent Kennedy breaks down this season's top golfers and top teams in the county girls league. (Cara LaMaina/Baltimore Sun Media Group video)

Going all the way back to her freshman year, Atholton's Bryana Nguyen has never been shy about chasing records.

Whether it was single-round scoring marks or milestone victories at the county, district or state levels, Nguyen was constantly raising the bar for herself. Winning was important, but what she was ultimately aiming for was always slightly bigger than that.

"Legacy has always been something that's extremely important to me," Nguyen said. "I take a lot of pride in being born and raised in Howard County and I wanted to make sure that when I left high school, I was going to be leaving behind something everyone would remember me for."

It's safe to say, following a senior year where she broke the county's single-season scoring average mark and shattered the Maryland two-day state championship scoring record, Nguyen's spot in the history books is secure.

This fall, as icing on the cake to a banner final high school campaign, the Raider senior has also been named the Columbia Flier/Howard County Times Girls Golfer of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.

"It truly is amazing how much she improved even this year, coming off a state championship as a junior," Atholton coach Scott Robinson said. "She didn't just accept where she was and become complacent, which is a natural tendency. She found a way to improve, which is a testament to the kind of player and person she is."

Nguyen was a champion from Day 1 in high school, winning the county tournament championship as a freshman and setting a single-match scoring record of 31 points during the regular season that year.

In fact, as she looks back on the last four years, Nguyen says that her game itself hasn't changed all that much.

"Honestly, I really hit it the same as I did then — I haven't gained too much distance or anything — but the biggest difference is the mental side of things," she said. "I've gained the confidence of knowing that every time out I was capable of shooting under par."

Confidence went a long way for Nguyen throughout her career as it seemed like success kept breeding more success.

This fall, for example, after a relatively inconspicuous start, she shot a four-under round of 31 points in a tri-match against Reservoir and Wilde Lake during the first week of September. Over the final weeks of the regular season, she proceeded to hit 31 points two more times on her way to finishing with a scoring average of 28.4 points — the highest ever by a Howard County boys or girls golfer.

The county championship tournament ended up being the one blemish on Nguyen's resume, as Marriotts Ridge's Rachel Lee edged out a victory in a playoff. But, as she found a way to do throughout her career, Nguyen simply used the setback to make her better.

"I was disappointed, but it kind of helped me refocus for districts and states," Nguyen said. "This year and all the years, actually, having Rachel pushing me really helped keep me from taking anything for granted. She pushed me to shoot better scores."

Nguyen delivered a one-under-par round of 69 at the District Championships at Fairway Hills to win by two shots over Lee. She then saved her best for last, setting several records on her way to her second straight state championship.

Her first-round 66 (5-under par) and two-day total of 134 (8-under par) both shattered the previous marks for girls individuals on the state's biggest stage.

In addition to those state records, Nguyen also graduates with the most county championships (3), most district championships (2) and most state championships (2) ever by a county golfer. She also owns marks for best single round, most under-par rounds and best scoring average during the regular season.

"She raised the level of golf not only for Atholton, but for the entire county," Robinson said. "She set the standard as a freshman and every time she went on the course she had a target on her back, but that never seemed to rattle her. She is truly a remarkable individual."

Nguyen has signed to play collegiately at the University of North Carolina starting next fall for a Tar Heels team that is traditionally among the top 50 programs in Division I.

Named to the first team all-county squad are:

Marissa Davey, Marriotts Ridge. A repeat first-team performer, Davey's consistency in the third spot for the Mustangs this fall was a major reason the team was able to finish the regular season undefeated. She was much improved over her junior year, increasing her scoring average almost three points up to 18.4 a match. She went for a season-high 22 points in a victory over Reservoir to close the regular season.