Huarte Leads AJGA Alums at NCAA Women’s Championship
Once again, AJGA alumnae came up big at the NCAA Division I Women’s Champions, where the leaderboard was dominated by AJGA players of yesteryear.
Starting at the top, Sarah Huarte of California captured the crown at 10-under-par, shooting 73-69-67-69—278 over the course of four days. During her AJGA career, Huarte picked up a few top-five finishes, including a third-place at the Sacramento Junior Classic in 1999. At Grand National in Opelika, Ala., Huarte turned on the birdie machine, making 25 birdies in 72 holes.
Tournament champion UCLA was led by Susie Matthews, but three AJGA alumnae played a huge part in the team victory. Charlotte Mayorkas, Gina Umeck and Hannah Jun are former Rolex Junior All-Americans who helped their squad to the championship. Individually, Mayorkas placed fourth and Umeck finished 16th.
Duke, which fielded a team of former AJGA standouts and had won 9 of 10 events this year, finished in third place. The Blue Devils are somewhat of an AJGA all-star team, featuring Rolex Junior Player of the Year Liz Janangelo, first-team Rolex Junior All-Americans Leigh Anne Hardin, Virada Nirapathpongporn and Brittany Lang, and second-team Rolex Junior All-American Anna Grzebien.
Other teams were also led by AJGA veterans, including second-place finisher Oklahoma State, who features AJGA alumnae Mallorie Underwood (sixth), Annie Thurman, Candy Herrera and Ashley Knoll.
Tennessee placed 11th, but individually, Jessica Shepley, a former Rolex Junior All-American, placed fifth. California finished fourth, paced by Huarte and Irene Cho. Vanderbilt was fifth, thanks to Sarah Jacobs’ sixth-place finish, along with the efforts of Chris Brady, Courtney Wood and Kristen Svicarovich.
“Players come out of the AJGA prepared for college golf,” said Stephen Hamblin, AJGA Executive Director. “Whether they are freshmen or seniors, we have seen their ability to stand up to the pressure on the collegiate level. Our congratulations go out to Sarah for her victory, and the UCLA team for their team title.”