May 1, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. - Senior Demi Runas was named the Big West Player of the Year for the third consecutive season and five other UC Davis players and head coach Anna Templewere also honored as the Aggies dominated the Big West Conference women's golf awards announced on Wednesday.
Andrea Wong was tabbed freshman of the year and Temple earned co-coach of the year accolades. Additionally, Runas was named to the All-Big West first team for the fourth straight year along with senior Amy Simanton. The pair was joined on the first team by Wong and sophomore Beverly Vatananugulkit. Freshmen Raegan Bremer and Betty Chenwere selected honorable mention.
Sixteenth-ranked UC Davis swept at least a share of the major awards for the second straight year after dominating the Big West Championships at San Luis Obispo last week. The four-time defending champions won the tournament by an impressive 29 strokes, setting them up for another berth in the NCAA Championships which begin next week. They also finished 1-2-3-4 in the individual standings.
Runas, from Torrance, Calif., is 15th in the most recent Golfstat Cup rankings thanks to a standout season which has featured individual titles at the Big West Championships and also the Golfweek Conference Challenge last September. She's finished tied for second at four other tournaments and has eight top-10 placings overall. Her 72.4 stroke average leads the team.
Simanton, from Lake Oswego, Ore., who was the conference's freshman of the year in 2010, added another all-conference first-team certificate after finishing fourth at the Big West tournament. She added fourth-place showings at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational at New Mexico and at Northwestern's Windy City Collegiate Classic, and had five top-10 performances overall.
Vatananugulkit was named freshman of the year last season after winning the conference title and followed that outstanding season with another strong campaign. She was 12th at the Anuenue Spring Break Classic at Hawaii in March and was 16th at Washington's Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational during the fall. Vatananugulkit, from Cerritos, Calif., capped her regular season with a third-place finish at the Big West Championships, opening the tournament with a tournament-low 4-under 69.
Wong, from San Francisco, continued a tradition of freshman excellence at UC Davis with her dual honors. She played the final two rounds of the Big West Championships a shot under par, on her way to runner-up honors at 1 over. She started her first year well with a 21st-place finish among 93 golfers at New Mexico and then was ninth at the Golfweek Conference Challenge a week later. An 11th-place showing at Washington was another highlight.
Bremer, from Anaheim Hills, competed in five tournaments including three this spring. She highlighted her year with a seventh-place finish at the Peg Barnard Invitational in February when she finished just 2 over while shooting a 2-under 69 in the second round.
Chen, from Castro Valley, has seen action in six tournaments this season. She's been solid during the spring, opening with an eighth-place finish at the powerful Peg Barnard Invitational and then taking 12th at the Big West tournament last week.
Temple earned co-coach of the year honors after taking over the Aggie team just prior to the start of the fall season. Despite the late start, she pushed the program even higher in the national rankings. UC Davis has been inside the top 16 most of the season and has top-five finishes in eight of 11 tournaments. The Aggies were second three times during the fall and added three top-five showings in the spring, culminating with the Big West Championship.
Temple shared coach of the year honors with Julie Brooks of UC Irvine.
UC Davis will look to keep its season going strong when it plays in the NCAA Central Regional on May 9-11 at the University of Oklahoma. The Aggies are in the postseason as a team for the fifth time in six seasons at the Div. I level.
BIG WEST WOMEN'S GOLF POSTSEASON AWARDS
Big West Women's Golf Player of the Year
Demi Runas, UC DAVIS
Big West Women's Golf Freshman of the Year
Andrea Wong, UC DAVIS
Big West Women's Golf Co-Coaches of the Year
Julie Brooks, UC Irvine
Anna Temple, UC DAVIS
Second Team All-Big West
Amelia Ek, UC Riverside
Clariss Guce, Cal State Northridge
Simone Hoey, Long Beach State
Shawnee Martinez, Long Beach State
Savannah Vilaubi, UC Riverside