COC Insider: swim teams shine at meet

College of the Canyons freshman Jessie Kim helped lead the Cougars men’s swim team to a third place finish at the first conference meet of the season on Saturday at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center. Photo courtesy of Jesse Munoz/COC Sports Information

The College of the Canyons men’s and women’s swim teams combined to win five events at the first Western State Conference (WSC) meet of the season held Saturday at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

Five different Cougars finished first in their respective events, at a meet which also featured swimmers from Santa Barbara City College, Los Angeles Valley College, Bakersfield College and Santa Monica College.

COC’s men’s team placed third with 311 points to trail second place Bakersfield (334) and leader LAVC (367).

Canyons fared particularly well in the sprints with freshman Tyler Tran winning the 50-yard freestyle (22.48), sophomore William Karren taking first in the 100-yard butterfly (55.64) and Jessie Kim outpacing the field in the 100-yard backstroke (54.81).

Kim also finished second in the 200-yard individual medley (2:06.98) and joined Alex Cardia, Karren and Tran to claim second in the 200-yard medley relay (1:43.28).

Melvin Martinez was third in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:00.19.
The women’s team was fifth on the day but also featured a number of strong finishes.

COC freshman Antoinette Peterson won the 100-yard butterfly (1:08.23) and Jennifer Yamauchi took first in the 100-yard backstroke (1:05.88).

Brooke Coffey was a second place finisher in the 50-yard freestyle (26.90) and fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:19.60).

Yamauchi also earned second place in the 100-yard freestyle (58.11). Peterson was third in the 50-yard freestyle (27.34).

The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Yamauchi, Peterson, Melissa Rainbird and Coffey posted a second place time of 1:49.81.

Canyons will get back in the pool at the two-day Cuesta College Invitational being held March 10-11 in San Luis Obispo.

COC softball

The No. 11 state ranked COC softball team scored a combined 23 runs in its doubleheader road matchup with No. 9 Santiago Canyon College on Saturday, but had to settle for a win and tie after the second game was called due to darkness.

The Cougars (7-2-1) pounced all over SCC (10-3) in the opener, running away with a 12-1 five-inning victory.

COC sophomore Alexis Ramirez (4-0) got the win and combined with reliever Sarah Wilson to hold the Hawks to just five hits.

Freshman Heidi Ludy got her day started with a 3-for-3 outing that included five RBIs and a pair of runs. Ludy’s three-RBI triple in the top of the fourth essentially ended all hopes of a Santiago comeback.

Alexis Avila and Melanie Abzun both notched two RBIs in the game, while Sienna Vannoy and Micayla Aguilar each scored twice. Azmarheen Anderson smacked her first of two home runs on the day.

In the second outing, Canyons continued to swing a hot bat but also had to contend with a revived Santiago lineup which plated nine runs across the first three innings.

The Cougars led 4-0, 8-3 and 11-9 in the contest, but just couldn’t keep the Hawks off the base paths.

Ramirez got the start but only lasted three innings before turning things over to Wilson.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Hawks lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that tied the game at 11-11. Moments later the game was called due to darkness.

Anderson was 1-for-2 with a home run, two walks, three runs scored and two RBIs.

Vannoy finished 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Avila was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Ludy scored two more runs, and knocked in her sixth run of the day.
Canyons will next travel to L.A. Valley College at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

COC Men’s Golf

The COC men’s golf team won its second tournament in as many weeks on Monday, shooting a five-man score of 378 at River Ridge Golf Course in Oxnard to post an 11-stroke victory.

Canyons was trailed by Santa Barbara City College (389), host Ventura College (397), Citrus College (399) and Bakersfield College (472). Antelope Valley and Victor Valley College both competed in the tourney but did not score as a team.
COC freshman Daniel Taplin and Michael Lindgren both turned in scores of 74 to tie with SBCC golfer Theo Andre-Fouet for tournament medalist honors.

Sophomore Ben Campbell was not far off that pace with his three-over score of 75.

Jaeyeol Kim was next on the list with a round of 76 and Travis Fay shot a 79 to also score for the Cougars

Canyons currently has four golfers ranked in the top-five of the Western State Conference (WSC) standings. Campbell, Taplin, Kim and Lindgren rank two through five, respectively.

COC will next compete at the WSC tourney hosted by Citrus, to be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 13, at San Dimas Golf Course.

Skills Academy

The College of the Canyons men’s and women’s soccer programs are inviting youth soccer players from across the Santa Clarita Valley to participate in the COC Soccer Skills Academy, running March 23 to May 18.

Open to boys and girls in transitional kindergarten through eighth grade, the eight-week academy will be led by coaches and players from the COC men’s and women’s soccer programs.

Sessions will be held on Thursday nights at the brand new COC Soccer Facility located on the college’s Valencia campus, featuring a state-of-the-art FieldTurf Revolution 360 playing surface and infill system complete with LED stadium lights.

Registration fees for the COC Soccer Skills Academy are $125 per player.
For more information please visit

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