Vaqueros geared up for state

Having already won the Western State Conference and Southern California Regional titles, the Glendale Community College women's golf team will look to reel in the biggest prize — the California Community College Athletic Assn. Women's Golf Championship.

Five years into the program's existence, Glendale college will take part in the four-team state tournament, which will be held at 10 a.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday at Kings Country Club in Hanford.

A year ago, Tammy Panich won the state individual championship in Chino Hills. Now, the Vaqueros enter the tournament as a team that's ready to compete against Palomar College, Sacramento City College and Modesto College. The top 24 individuals from the Southern and Northern regionals will also participate for state individual prominence.

"It's a tremendous opportunity to have back-to-back state individual champions," said Glendale Coach Greg Osbourne, who led the college's men's team to a seventh-place finish at the state tournament in May at the same site. "Now, we also have a chance to win as a team, and we are going to embrace this chance.

"We've come a long way to get here. We want to show the community that we are the best in the state. We are already in the top four and No. 1 in Southern California."

The Vaqueros advanced to state after edging Palomar by three strokes at the 36-hole Southern California Regionals at Twin Oaks Golf Club in San Marcos, which was held Monday and Tuesday. Sacramento won the Northern Regional by 23 strokes at Empire Ranch Golf Club in Folsom.

Glendale will feature a lineup consisting of Pattraporn Silawanna, Hannah Lee, Thanawan Sriratchaya and Vicanda Ma. Silawanna, who won the conference and regional individual crowns, Lee and Sriratchaya will be in the hunt for the individual state title.

"It means a lot to move on," said Lee, a sophomore who finished tied for fifth at the Southern California Regionals. "It's one last chance to play for the team and we know we have to go out there now and play our best rounds."

Already familiar with Palomar, the Vaqueros have competed against Sacramento and Modesto at invitationals earlier in the season. Glendale and Sacramento took part in the Desert Tournament near Palm Springs in September and the North-South Invitational in Morro Bay in October. Modesto also competed in the North-South Invitational.

At the Desert tourney, the Vaqueros took second. In the North-South invite, Palomar took second, with GCC finishing third and both in front of their northern counterparts.

Palomar's top players are Meghan Hardin and Sayde Busby, who tied for second with Mount San Jacinto's Tina Yang at the regionals. Sacramento will be led by Wilma Elefante and Riley Sexton and Modesto's top athletes include Erica Ballard and Kaylee Joaquin.

"Palomar will be our main competition," Osbourne said. "We know them and they know us.

"We are going to take a practice round [today] and get used to the course. Each of our players knows that they can do well. Even if we were to finish fourth at state, it's been a tremendous season. There's no pressure. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain."

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