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Wildcat Wrap: Women’s golf opens 2024 with runner-up finish at Match in the Desert

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Editor’s note: With several sports going on, Wildcat Wrap serves as a recap that focuses on the Arizona programs that we do not have the time to cover on a regular basis but are certainly worthy of recognition.

The 2024 season got underway this week for Arizona women’s golf, which competed at the one-day “Match in the Desert” on Monday in Gold Canyon, Ariz. The Wildcats placed runner-up in the five team field behind winner UCLA.

No. 25 Arizona shot 14-under par for the day, led by Gile Bite Starkute, who won the individual title with an eight-under. Starkute, a graduate senior, made birdies on three of the first four holes. She ended strong by birdying four of the last six holes.

The highlight of the day came when Julia Misemer shot a hole-in-one 163-yard, 12th hole.

“Today was an ideal way to start off a new year with an individual title and some great scores posted by our entire team,” said head coach Laura Ianello. “Hats off to Gile for not only winning the individual championship but shooting an impressive 64 out there. Eight-under par and bogey free is about as flawless of a round as you can shoot, and it was great to see Gile keep it rolling all day. All our young ladies posted good scores throughout the round, and today will be great momentum for us moving forward.”

Arizona returns to action with the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verde, Calif. on Feb. 4-6.

Men’s golf

Men’s golf also opened the 2024 season in style, winning the Copper Cup in Maricopa with victories over ASU and UCLA.

The No. 19 Wildcats took down No. 4 ASU on Jan. 14, the first day of the two-day match play tournament. Arizona defeated ASU 6.5 to 5.5 points

The following day, Arizona defeated UCLA 7-5 to win the event. Filip Jakubcik, Zach Pollo and Johnny Walker secured points for Arizona both days.

Arizona next competes in the N.I.T. at Omni Tucson National Golf Club on Jan. 29-30.

Swimming and diving

Arizona swimming and diving lost to Cal and Stanford on the road last week.

The Wildcats fell to Cal 181.50-11.50 on the women’s side and 181-110 on the men’s side. Julia Heimstead won the women’s 200 fly, while Ralph Daleiden took home the men’s 100 free.

Against Stanford, the men lost 198.5-88.5 and the women lost 178-110. Paige Armstrong won the women’s 100 back.

Arizona concludes the regular season against ASU on Feb. 10.

Track and field

Arizona track and field competed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational in Albuquerque on Saturday.

Trayvion White-Austin lowered the school record in the 200m with a personal best 20.64 to finish third in the event.

White-Austin also earned a personal-best time in the 60m with a 6.71 to finish fourth.

Five other Wildcats earned top-three placings on the day.

Arizona continues its season with the River Hawk Invitational on Jan. 25-26 in Boston, Mass.

Women’s tennis

Women’s tennis took down a pair of power conference opponents over the weekend to improve to 4-1 on the young season.

Arizona defeated Michigan State 4-0 on Friday and beat Mizzou by the same margin on Saturday at LaNelle Robson Tennis Center in Tucson.

The Wildcats also dropped a match to BYU 4-1 on Friday.

Reece Carter and Martyna Ostryzgalo led the way for Arizona with a pair of doubles wins over MSU and Mizzou. Carter won a singles point on the No. 1 court against MSU, while Ostryzgalo earned the Wildcats a singles point on the No. 1 court versus Mizzou.

Both Carter, a sophomore, and Ostryzgalo, a freshman, are from Canada.