PARK THE LOW MEDALIST AT SCIAC CHAMPIONSHIPSBy Michael Wells Sports Information Director
HEMET — Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' Marissa Suehiro finished in second with a 17-over 161 and her teammates Maya Reddy and Lauren Buchanan tied for sixth with a 168, leading the Athenas to a win at the inaugural Women's Golf SCIAC Championship tournament, and an overall conference championship in the first year the SCIAC's sponsored the sport.
"We played this season with a phenomenal team effort. When someone was struggling, someone else picked it up," CMS coach Jodie Burton said, adding that without the support of Redlands athletic director Jeff Martinez and CMS men's coach Bim Jollymour, making women's golf the 21st SCIAC sport wouldn't have been possible. "I'm so proud to be a part of such a great group of women and the first conference championship."
CMS' Shaina Raskin finished in eighth with a 169.
The Athenas will wait to see if they receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III tournament — the SCIAC doesn't have an automatic bid because it has just five teams, two short of the seven required.
Dalton Meade shot a 163 and Hannah Durette a 164 to lead Redlands. The Bulldogs finished second at 662, three strokes back of the Athenas.
Cal Lutheran finished third (759) and Pomona-Pitzer in fourth (831).
Occidental's Katie Park (La Crescenta) was the tournament's low medalist with a 12-over 156.
Park, who's been in contention for the low medalist award at a handful of SCIAC tournaments this season, finally took the top spot with a 74 on Day 1 and an 82 on Day 2.
Over 36 holes, Park totaled five birdies and 17 pars.
"Katie has the amazing ability to stay in the moment and not let the surrounding circumstances affect her," Occidental coach Erik Johnson said. "She is a great ball striker who can make a lot of birdies if she's putting well.
"I couldn't be prouder of Katie. The best part is her best golf is yet to come."
Chloe Johnson (Seattle) shot Oxy's second-best number, 204, the 20th best total at the tournament overall.
The Tigers did not record a qualifying team score because Alexis Holmes had to withdraw from the tournament just before it began with an injury.
La Verne's Derek Zachman won a sudden-death playoff against Brad Shigezawa of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with a birdie on No. 18, leading the Leopards to a win at the 2012 SCIAC Men's Golf Championship Tournament at the Diamond Valley Golf Club on Monday, and their sixth consecutive overall SCIAC men's golf championship.
"Winning the individual championship is the cherry on top," Zachman said. "The team championship is really the important part."
Zachman shot a 69 on Sunday, a 72 on Monday — 1-under 141 overall — and then sunk a 6-foot putt to secure the victory.
Shigezawa posted on 68 on Day 1 and a 73 on Day 2.
The Leopards earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national championship tournament starting on May 15 in Orlando, Florida.
ULV, which had three of its scorers finish in the top 10, overtook Redlands for the top spot after trailing the Bulldogs by one point in the standings (30-29) heading into the weekend.
The Leopards finished with a team score of 582, seven more strokes than second-place Cal Lutheran (589).
Nick Ericson and Kelby Sharmann finish tied for sixth with 146 for La Verne.
Redlands' Bobby Holden shot a 67 to take the lead after 18 holes on Sunday, then shot 76 on Monday, finishing third overall in the tournament.
Occidental finished sixth as a team with a 610. The Tigers spent most of Day 1 in second place and were just six strokes back of Redlands for second place through 18 holes, but they faltered a bit on Monday.
Despite battling a hip injury that probably should have kept him out of the tournament, Andrew Larkin (Los Angeles) finished fourth overall, shooting even par for Oxy. The senior captain, who shot 71 on Sunday and 73 on Monday, was just three strokes behind Shigezawa and Zachman.