CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's golf team is set to tee it up in the 2018 season tomorrow when they take on Pomona-Pitzer in the annual Walker Cup. After a successful fall season, the Athenas are ready for a strong 2018 spring season.
See below for a quick preview of the 2018 season:
A Look Back
Last season, the Athenas put together their most successful season in program history. CMS won their fourth SCIAC Championship in program history and earned their highest finish at the National Championships with an eighth-place finish.
The Athenas finished the SCIAC Championship with a 35 stroke margin over second-place Redlands when you include the four regular season rounds and the three at the SCIAC Championships.
Emma Kang (CMC) earned individual medalist honors at the conference championships, shooting a 221 (+5) over the three days. Along with Kang, the Athenas locked up four of the top seven spots with Taylor Huges (CMC), Kelly Ransom (CMC), and Margaret Loncki (CMC) finishing fourth, fifth, and tied for seventh, respectively, to allow CMS to run away with the title.
The Championship earned the Athenas a trip to the National Championships where they would finish in eighth-place with a four-day total of 1262 (+110). Individually, Loncki finished the National Championships tied for fifth with a score of 299 (+11). She turned in her low round of 69 (-3) on the final day of the Championship to jump from 21st into the top five.
On the Roster
The Athenas lost just two seniors due to graduation from last year's team and add a talented freshman class that is already making an impact. Loncki and Cara Brinster are back for their senior seasons after both competing at the National Championships last season.
The Athenas return all five members that competed at the National Championships last year. Emma Kang and Taylor Huges are back for their sophomore season after finishing in 32nd and tied for 35th at the National Tournament. In addition to Kang and Huges, Caity Kwun (CMC) and Eunice Song (CMC) round out the sophomore class. Song was consistently in the Athenas' top eight last season and will look to breaking into the starting rotation throughout the spring.
The junior class is made up of Mary Bryan Owen (CMC) and Kelly Ransom. A team leader and one of the more consistent players for the Athenas, Ransom finished tied for 68th at the National Championships a year ago.
The freshman class is a large and talented one. Emily Attiyeh (CMC), Erica MacDonald (HMC), Camille Simon (HMC), Teress Ulrich (CMC), and Mira Yoo (CMC) comprise the class. In the fall season, Yoo and Simon appeared for the Athenas and kicked off their careers with strong performances. Yoo broke the single-round scoring record in her first collegiate tournament, shooting a 68 (-4) to win the CMS Invite on Sept. 24, 2017. In addition to Yoo and Simon, keep an eye on the rest of the high-upside class.
What to Watch For
As mentioned, the Athenas begin the 2018 season on Saturday with the Walker Cup against Pomona-Pitzer at Via Verde Country Club. Just two weeks later, the Athenas will travel to Arrowhead Country Club for the first leg of SCIAC play. They will take on the conference on Feb. 24-25 and again on Apr. 7-8 before the SCIAC Championships take place at Los Serranos Country Club from Apr. 22-24.
Outside of SCIAC play, the Athenas will travel to three multi-day tournaments. On Mar. 12-13, CMS will travel to the Cal Lutheran Regals Invitational at Sunset Hills Country Club. At the end of March, the Athenas will play in the Bulldog Classic at Indian Springs Golf Club.
The Athenas' big trip of the year will come when they travel to Georgia for the Jekyll Island Invitational. They will spend three days playing against some of the top teams in the country from Mar. 16-18.
Leading the Charge
Jodi Burton is back for her 12th season as the head coach of the Athenas. Burton has been at the helm since CMS picked women's golf up as a varsity sport. Since the SCIAC started sponsoring women's golf in 2012, the Athenas have earned four conference championships, all under Burton's leadership. Julie Lynd enters her fourth season as an assistant coach for the Athenas in 2018.
Around the SCIAC
At the end of February, the SCIAC released their 2018 women's golf preseason poll. The Athenas earned the top spot with six of the eight first-place votes and 61 total points. The Redlands Bulldogs were right behind with 53 points, but nearly the whole conference is capable of competing for a SCIAC Championship this season.
2018 SCIAC Women's Golf Preseason Poll
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. CMS (6) - 61 points
2. Redlands (2) - 53 points
3. Pomona-Pitzer - 48 points
4. Cal Lutheran - 37 points
5. Whittier - 34 points
6. Chapman - 27 points
7. Occidental - 20 points
8. La Verne - 8 points