FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2023
Women's Golf Team Wins State Championship
College of the Canyons women’s golf won the 2023 California Community College Athletic Association (3C2A) State Championship with a stunning two-day performance at Hunter Ranch Golf Course in Paso Robles on Nov. 13-14.
The state title is the program’s fifth overall (2001, 2007, 2018, 2019, 2023) and third across the last five seasons. Canyons also finished runner-up to the state title in 2022. COC athletic programs did not compete during the 2020-21 season due to cancellations based on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lady Cougars carded a four-player, two-day score of 660 (340/320) to top runner up Mt. San Antonio College by a whopping 14 strokes. The eight-team field included four teams from the Southern California Region and four Northern California programs.
Canyons ended Monday’s opening round in fourth place, three strokes back of the lead, but came storming back on day two, playing some of its best golf of the season, with four of the five COC entrants improving on their day one scores.
“This (championship) is a testament to the journey (the players) made the entire season and how they’ve bonded as a team,” said longtime head coach Gary Peterson. “I’m extremely proud of this group. We did not expect this at all.”
Sophomore Motoko Shimoji was outstanding in leading the way for Canyons. She turned in a one-over-par score of 73 in the opening round then followed up with a 76 on Tuesday to end the tourney one stroke off the individual lead.
Shimoji (149-75/76) was named to the 3C2A All-State team after finishing runner-up to Isabelle Olivas-Lowell 148 (68/79) of Citrus College for the individual state championship.
The individual runner-up result at the state tourney was the second in as many years for Shimoji. She finished tied for the top spot at the 2022 state championships in Morro Bay before a tiebreaker placed her in second.
Flora Peugnet (160-85/75) shaved 10 strokes off her opening-round total to finish with Tuesday’s low score among the field of 60 players. That placed the sophomore tied for eighth overall, just short of earning a second All-State selection.
Sophomore Brooke Maxwell (168-88/80) finished in a tie for 18th place after trimming eight strokes off her first round.
Elena Ortuno-Montalban (183-94/89) was the final player to score for Canyons with the freshman finishing in 42nd place. Nisha Gaulke (196-101/95) also competed but had her score scores scratched from the team tally.
Canyons and Mt. SAC (674-348/326) were followed by Reedley College (675-337/338) and Modesto College (675-337/338) in a tie for third place. Reedley was eventually awarded third place on a tie breaker.
Moorpark College (691-346/345) was fifth followed by Sierra College (697-339/358), Fullerton College (701-354/347) and Sacramento City (718-369/349) rounding out the field.
The program’s five state titles have all come under Peterson who has led the women’s golf program since its inception in 1999.
The most recent state title comes on the heels of Canyons winning the program’s 12th Western State Conference (WSC) championship (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023) earlier this season.
The Lady Cougars then finished third at the 3C2A Southern California Regional Championships on Nov. 6 to clinch a 12th appearance at the state championship tourney (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023).
Peterson has also won a record 10 3C2A state championships with the COC men’s golf program, the most recent coming in 2022.