PULLMAN, Wash. — UC Davis senior Tyler Raber — a Davis High graduate — ended his round with four straight birdies and had five on his final six holes to finish with a 5-under 67 in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Pullman Regional on Thursday at Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
Raber, the Aggies’ lone representative, was tied for 15th. He’s trying to finish as the lowest-scoring player not on one of the five teams that will qualify for the NCAA Finals later this month.
The former Blue Devil scored an early birdie on the par-4 second hole, which he balanced with a bogey on the next hole. Nine straight pars then filled Raber’s scorecard before a crucial chip, after his approach shot went past the12th green, landed inches from the cup and helped him save par with a tap-in on No. 12.
He followed that by nearly making a hole-in-one on the par-3, 232-yard 13th hole. Raber drained the 12-foot birdie putt to move back to 1-under.
“He didn’t have much going on the front nine but the key were the 12th and 13th holes,” said UCD coach Cy Williams. “He had a long pitch-and-putt and then almost made a hole-in-one. Those two holes saved his round and (sparked) the rest of his day.”
Raber was scheduled to tee off on the 10th hole to begin Friday’s second round.
UCD track and field
Aggie sprinter Ashley Marshall, winner of the both the 100- and 200-meter dashes at last weekend’s Big West Championships, was named the league’s female track athlete of the year while Drew Wartenburg earned women’s coach of the year honors after leading UCD to the conference title.
Marshall, a sophomore from Moreno Valley, is the second straight Aggie winner for track athlete of the year, as teammate Sarah Sumpter earned the award last season.
Marshall’s accolades came after she raced to record-setting wins in the both the 100 and 200, while running the second leg on UCD’s runner-up 4×100 relay squad. She won the 100 in 11.34 seconds, breaking her own school record as well as the meet record of 11.36 established by Cal Poly’s Tamatha Jackson in 1999. She tied the conference mark set by Sonja Green of UNLV in 1987.
Her winning 23.25 in the 200 also set Aggie, meet and Big West records.
Wartenburg was named the Big West Women’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season. He shared the award in 2012 but earned it for himself this year after UCD dominated the conference championships last weekend by scoring 172.5 points. The Aggies won the meet by 44 points over runner-up UCSB.
UCD will continue its season next weekend when it travels to the NCAA West Regional at the University of Texas.
Aggie sophomore right-handed pitcher Justine Vela and freshman shortstop Christa Castello were rewarded this week for their successful seasons by receiving All-Big West Conference first- and second-team honors, respectively.
Vela has now received first-team recognition in each of her two years at UCD. She led a pitching staff that ended the 2013 campaign with the lowest ERA in the conference, and Vela also paced Big West hurlers with a .177 opposing batting average this season.
The Bakersfield native earned seven shutouts to finish No. 2 in the league and 30th in the nation. In addition to compiling a 15-10 record and a career-low 2.03 ERA, Vela also fanned 175 batters throughout her 172.2 innings in the circle.
Ranked 19th in the league with a .308 batting average in her first season of Division I competition, Castello quickly developed a reputation as one of the most dangerous all-around players in the conference as the season progressed.
Castello, who is from Concord, impressed fans with her fielding skills at shortstop, was sixth in the conference with 15 steals and paced the Aggies in that category, as well as average, total bases (51) and runs (15).