Canyons living up to expectations at women's golf state championship

Morro Bay Golf Club
Morro Bay Golf Club
MORRO BAY – As expected, College of the Canyons was the clubhouse leader after the first round of the 36-hole, two-day California Community College Athletic Association women's golf state championship Sunday on the Morro Bay golf course.
Haruka Koda of Canyons posted a 2-under-par 70 and teammate Jessie Lin added a 71 to help the Cougars to a four-person team score of 306. Those were the only two players to come in under par. Paige Heuer added a 78 for the defending state champions.
Koda, who captured both the Western State Conference MVP honors as well as the CCCAA Southern California regional individual medalist honors this month, is on pace to earn state player of the year honors this season. As a freshman last season, she finished second for state medalist honors by one stroke after posting rounds of 72 and 71. Lin finished seventh last year with rounds of 75 and 79.
Reedley College (320) currently sits in second place with Modesto Junior College (323), and Santa Barbara City College (326) also giving chase. Reedley was led by Monica Yu (74) and Mya Chao (77) on the opening day while Modesto received a 74 from Samantha Smedshammer and consistent 83's from four other players.
Santa Barbara was paced by Pratima Sherpa (74) and Alexa Bleth (76), but Sierra College (330), Saddleback College (331), and College of the Desert (338) are still in the hunt. Sierra's Melanie Anderson (76) and Hailey Salomone (78) kept their team in contention while Katie Stribling (75) leads Saddleback and Raegan Preece (78) is setting the pace for Desert.
"Fourteen strokes is a pretty big deficit," said Reedley head coach Scott Stark, still seeking his college's first state title in women's golf. "I think we'll make a move on Canyons but that's a pretty comfortable cushion."
Canyons, which has won three previous state titles under head coach Gary Peterson, captured the 2018 state championship by 18 strokes over Desert while Reedley ended up finishing fifth.
The tournament concludes on Monday with a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start and the awards ceremony will follow at 2:00 p.m. in the golf course clubhouse.
(Jerry Hannula, CCCSIA)