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Draper Journal

JDCHS senior golfer wins state title; team second

Jun 03, 2024 03:07PM ● By Catherine Garrett

Juan Diego’s Grayson Gagnon and her father Dave share a moment after she made par on the final hole of the 3A state golf championship at Meadowbrook Golf Course May 9 and then was told that she earned medalist honors. (Photo courtesy Grayson Gagnon)

When Juan Diego Catholic High School senior Grayson Gagnon tapped in her putt on the 18th hole at Meadowbrook Golf Course on Day Two of the 3A state championships May 9, she wasn’t quite sure how the leaderboard looked. So, she hugged her playing partners and then she saw her dad running toward her crying. “That’s when I knew I had won,” she said. “My coach and my dad picked me up and they kept saying, ‘You did it! You won!’”

Gagnon shot a 78 on Day One to hold a two-shot lead over Richfield’s Brielle Jolley and was up by four through the first four holes on Day Two. But, during a “rough stretch,” she fell three strokes off the lead before “continuing to battle and grind it out” on the back nine. Going into the par 5 18th hole, she held a one-shot lead. She reached the green in two and was able to three-putt to take home medalist honors.

“Grayson played her heart out,” head coach Jason Anderson said. “We didn’t say anything to her about how she caught up the last three holes and she had no idea that she had won until her dad and I ran up to her on the green and gave her the news. She was so surprised and in shock—it was fun! Even though she played her worst round of the year [an 81], she battled and pulled it off in the end.”

The first-place individual finish made school history with Grayson becoming the first female medalist for Juan Diego while the team’s second-place showing is also the best for a Soaring Eagle girls team.

“I am so proud of Grayson and the whole team,” Anderson said. “The team played well after the first day and we were just five shots back of perennial power Richfield. We closed the gap after the first four holes the second day but fell off hard after that. The girls gave it everything they had, so no regrets about anything being left on the course.”

“I was really proud of my team that we took home the second-place trophy,” Gagnon said. “We had the best team we’ve ever had, and we saw the results. It was really cool to the lead the team to that point, and to see all our hard work pay off.”

Freshman Sabrina Macias finished sixth while senior Ashley Cutshall tied for 13th, sophomore Isabella Werner was 16th, freshman Camilla Macias tied for 39th and junior Abby Quercia tied for 41st to round out the scoring for Juan Diego.

Before her win this season, Gagnon had previously placed seventh at the past three 3A state tournaments. During the regular season, the senior earned the individual Region 14 championship with a 77.2 scoring average and by winning medalist honors with a 78 at Mountain View at the end of April. 

The team also won the region title, taking the top eight spots in scoring average—led by Gagnon, Werner (second), Camilla Macias (third), Sabrina Macias (fourth), Quercia (fifth), Cutshall (sixth), Zoe Pappas (seventh) and Lindley Whittaker (eighth).

“I am very proud of the team, not just for state, but the whole year,” Anderson said.

Gagnon, the daughter of Dave and Lori Gagnon of Draper, began playing golf 12 years ago to learn a sport that her dad enjoyed. “I got really serious in middle school, playing because my dad did,” she said. “I grew up at the Cottonwood Country Club with friends doing a junior program which is how I learned.”

Even though she played volleyball as a ninth grader and earned a varsity letter, she decided to put her time and energy on the golf course instead of the gym. “What I love most about golf is being able to play anytime I want and enjoying it with friends and family,” she said. “Being outside and enjoying nature makes the game really special to me.”

Gagnon is also grateful for the life lessons the game has given her. “Golf has taught me that patience and hard work are important, and that good things don’t happen overnight,” she said. “I’ve learned to keep going even when things are tough, and that I often learned more about myself from my failures than my successes, and that if I really love something and put my mind to it, I can achieve anything.”

Gagnon will attend the University of San Diego this fall and, while they don’t have a women’s golf program, she still plans to be on the golf course daily. λ