FOREST CITY — The Waldorf University women’s golf team compiled a 72-hole score of 1,389 to take fourth place in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Championships, which concluded on April 26.
Putting together their top two rounds in the final two days of conference tournament, the Warriors closed out a spring campaign that included victories in four of six competitions.
“It was a really good finish,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. “The women have had an outstanding spring and they played well at the conference meet.”
Waldorf finished the tournament, turning in a 688-stroke total for the final 36 holes, which was played on the par-71 layout at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course. The first two rounds were held in September at Oxbow, North Dakota.
Fernanda Valdes captured fourth for the Warriors with a 326-stroke finish, carding scores of 80 and 84 in the final two rounds. The sophomore from Morelia, Mexico, earned first-team all-conference honors for the second straight season. Valdes has also recorded top-10 finishes in all 22 competitions during the first two years of her collegiate career.
“She’s always near the top of the leader board providing a really good score for our team,” Clouse said. “I expect that trend to continue next year as well.”
Maggie Peters claimed eighth with a 337 after firing rounds of 85 and 79 in the final two days of the tournament. The junior from Jewell, who concluded her first year at Waldorf, landed second-team all-conference recognition.
“Maggie had a great final round,” Clouse said. “That was nice to see her end her season on a high note.”
Sophomore Trinity Hill secured 14th with a 373-stroke total behind a 101 and 97 during the final two rounds. Hill locked up second-team all-conference honors for the second consecutive year.
“To have good representation on the all-conference teams, that bodes well for the future,” Clouse said.
Sophomore Kailee Ward took 16th for the Warriors with a 386-stroke total after contributing scores of 94 and 96 for the final two days of the tournament.
Waldorf sophomore Hallie Hauer, who did not compete during the fall portion of the tournament, put together rounds of 83 and 87.
This year marked Waldorf’s first season in the NSAA, which tested a young Warriors team in the cumulative conference tournament format.
“To have so many underclassmen on the roster and playing in the conference event is a great experience,” Clouse said. “They’re performing well and that’ll help their game continue to improve.”
Bellevue University, ranked No. 8 in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) poll, posted a team score of 1,234 to capture the conference championship by a 111-stroke margin.
Viterbo University (1,345) locked up second while the University of Jamestown (1,374) took third. Waldorf (1,389) finished 15 strokes behind Jamestown, which is receiving votes in the national poll. Valley City State University, Dickinson State University and Presentation College were represented by individuals who competed in the tournament.
The Warriors return their entire roster as they look forward to a strong 2016-17 campaign.
“We’re very young and that’s exciting,” Clouse said. “I’m confident that we’ll continue to improve as a team. We’ve done well to this point and it’s exciting to think about where we can be this time next year.”
Men finish fifth in NSAA
The Waldorf University men’s golf team closed out the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Championships with a fifth-place finish.
The Warriors put together an 18-hole team score of 317 to finish with a 1,284-stroke total in the cumulative 72-hole conference tournament that held its first two rounds in September at Oxbow, North Dakota. The final round marked Waldorf’s second-best outing of the tournament.
“I think we finished off very well,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. “We had a pretty big deficit to climb out of heading into the event, but overall we had a good performance, so it was a nice way to end the year.”
Hugo Becerra led the Warriors, securing fourth with a 305-stroke performance. The junior from Ocotlan, Mexico, earned first-team all-conference honors as he fired a 78 and 77 during the final two rounds on the par-71 layout at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course.
“He’s had a great year,” Clouse said. “He’s definitely one of the best players in the conference. To have him vying for that individual title was a very good way for him to see where his game is at and look to compete for that individual crown next year.”
Waldorf’s Rick Young tied for 14th, shooting a 325. The senior from Garner carded rounds of 85 and 75 during the final two days of the tournament to land second-team all-conference recognition.
“He’s been one of our more consistent players during his time here,” Clouse said. “He’s very dependable and it was a very nice way for him to end his career at Waldorf.”
Becerra and Young garnered all-conference honors for the second straight season.
Freshman Kole Hallmark tied for 16th for the Warriors, totaling 326 after an 81 and 83 in the final two rounds. Senior Austin Heeren placed 21st with a 338, closing out the final two days with rounds of 85 and 82.
Waldorf junior Thomas O’Rourke, who did not compete during the fall stage of the conference tournament, turned in a 163 behind rounds of 78 and 85.
Bellevue University, which is receiving votes in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) poll, won the conference championship with 1,209 strokes. Viterbo University (1,230) claimed second while the University of Jamestown (1,266), Valley City State University (1,282), Waldorf (1,284), Dickinson State University (1,415) and Presentation College (1,539) completed the team standings.
Bellevue’s Diego Gudino captured the individual title with an 11-over par 297, finishing two strokes ahead of teammate Juan Gomez and three strokes ahead of teammate Fernanda Arzate. The Bruins advance to the NAIA National Championships, scheduled for May 24-27 at Silvis, Illinois.
With the season coming to a close, Young, Heeren and Nick Boswell have concluded their careers with the Warriors.
“Those three have been an integral part of our program for four years,” Clouse said. “It’ll be different without having them in the system. We’ve enjoyed having all three of them with the Waldorf golf program and wish them nothing but the best.”
This year was Waldorf’s first season in the NSAA and the cumulative conference tournament format required solid performances during both the fall and spring.
“I think it worked very well,” Clouse said. “We’re looking forward to next year.”
The Warriors return eight players for the 2016-17 campaign, including a strong core possessing veteran leadership and experience.
“We have a really solid nucleus returning,” Clouse said. “I look for our team to be very competitive again. It’ll definitely be one of our goals to be in the hunt for the conference title.”