ARROYO GRANDE – Although the teams are familiar, all of the names are new as the California Community College Athletic Association women’s golf state championship got underway at the Cypress Ridge Golf Club on Sunday.
Play had to be halted due to darkness at 5:15 p.m. with 15 players still on the course. Those players will resume play at 7:00 a.m. on Monday with the rest of the field following around 9:00 a.m.
Six of the eight teams which participated in the last state championship two years ago have returned, with only Antelope Valley College (Lancaster) and Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa) entering the mix this season. No community college state championships were held during the 2020-2021 school year.
It was expected that the top two teams in each region would battle for this year’s state title and the early indications are holding up for those expectations. Saddleback, the top team out of the Southern California regional, leads the team scoring with a four-person total of 314 while regional runner-up Orange Coast is just one stroke back at 315. Modesto, the Northern California regional runner-up, is just four strokes off the pace at 318.
Individually, there are no returning players from the 2019 state championship event in the field of 59 golfers. Arlene Salvador of Antelope Valley is the early leader in the clubhouse with a first-round score of 4-under-par 68. She is the only player to come in under par and has a comfortable five-stroke lead over Madison Blanc of Modesto and Avery Foster of Reedley who both posted 1-over-par 73’s. Mari Mak of Saddleback (Mission Viejo), Katerina Cervantes of Mt. San Antonio (Walnut), and Lehapi Taungahihifo of College of the Desert (Palm Desert) are another stroke back at 74’s.
Antelope Valley, Desert, San Joaquin Delta (Stockton), and Sierra (Rocklin) still had players on the course when competition was halted. No team scores could be calculated until those rounds are completed.
(Jerry Hannula, CCCSIA)