Walla Walla Community College's Sajonia grabs lead at Horn Rapids

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WEST RICHLAND - Horn Rapids was a golf course "there for the taking" Sunday, according to Mike Rostollan.

"Tee to green, it could be had," the Walla Walla Community College golf coach said. "The course was in great condition, and the weather couldn't have been better. It was one of those rare dead-calm days in the Tri-Cities."

But the greens were not as obliging, Rostollan said, and as a result only two players managed to break par during the first round of the six-school Columbia Basin College Invitational.

"There were a lot of greens that were hit in regulation," Rostollan said. "But there were not a lot of putts (made)."

The Warriors' Cole Sajonia, a true freshman from Joseph, Ore., grabbed the first-round lead in the 36-hole tourney with a 2-under-par 70. Sajonia was one shot in front of Spokane's Connor Claeys, who carded a 1-under 71, and three shots up on a quartet of players who came in at 1-over 73.

That group included Walla Walla's Josh Scothorne. The others were Zach Buchanan of Bellevue and two more Spokane players, Dylan Maine and Graham Schmaltz.

Spokane's strong showing at the top of the leader board helped the Sasquatch to a team score of 291 for their top four players, which was good for a three-stroke lead over Walla Walla. The Warriors registered a 294 score and were eight strokes ahead of North Idaho's Cardinals, who were in third place at 302.

Bellevue came next at 304, followed by Southwest Oregon 311 and host CBC 325.

Walla Walla's Ash Miles shot a 75, Daryl Spivey and Sage Ceniga matched 76s and Zerin Beattie turned in a 79.

"Cole played real well for us again today," Rostollan said of Sajonia. "He's not our No. 1 player, but he's been playing like it the last couple of weeks."

Meanwhile, Kelsey Sage led the WWCC women's team with a score of 92. Autumn Snyder shot 96 and Larissa Mercado 108 for the Warriors, who scored 296 and were in fifth place among the six competing teams.

North Idaho led the pack with a 241 score, followed by Spokane and Bellevue, each at 257, and Southwest Oregon with a score of 260. CBC fielded an incomplete team.

However, the Hawks' Gina Ojeda shot the best score among the women with a 3-over-par 75. North Idaho's Makena Schevenius was alone in second place, four shots back at 79.

The Warriors wrap up the fall portion of their 2011-12 season today when the CBC Invite shifts to Canyon Lakes in Kennewick for the final 18 holes of play.

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