NORTHFIELD, Minn.—Carleton College rookies Gina Kabasakalis (Alameda, Calif./College Prep) and Taylor Wells (Rochester, Minn./Century) are two of only five first-year players nationwide to earn spots on the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) all-region team.
Kabasakalis and Wells made Carleton the lone program in all of NCAA Division III to have more than one first-year player named to one of the five, 10-person, all-region squads.
“We couldn’t be prouder of Gina and Taylor and the way they performed at such a high level all season,” Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. “We are very fortunate to have two such young, talented players in our program.”
The dynamic duo rewrote the Carleton record book this season and propelled the Knights to the best season in program history. Kabasakalis set the single-season scoring record with an 80.3 average over 16 rounds this season, while Wells was a mere 11 shots back with an 81.0 average. The California rookie posted four of the lowest nine rounds in school history this season alone and holds three of the top four 36-hole totals in the Carleton annals. She also holds the 54-hole school record and won the UST Spring Invitational while finishing second at the Wartburg Invitational and the ACM Invitational. Wells, who was the more consistent player in terms of her overall finish percentage as calculated by Golfstat, recorded six top-10 finishes in eight starts. She placed second at the ultra-competitive Georgianni Memorial Invite to start the season, beating four eventual All-Americans in the field. She holds three of the top nine 18-hole rounds, three of the top six 36-hole marks, and is second by three shots on the 54-hole school scoring record list.
Both players earned All-MIAC honors, as Kabasakalis finished T4th at the 2011 MIAC Championships while Wells placed solo sixth, only three shots back of her teammate.
The Knights obliterated the school scoring mark by more than 11 shots and improved on last year’s scoring average by a whopping 20 shots. In addition to setting a new single-season standard, the Knights posted 11 of the program’s top 20 single-round scores this year and six of the best 10 36-hole scores.
Three programs, including Carleton, placed multiple players on the region 4/Midwest all-region team. Besides Wells and Kabasakalis, Gustavus Adolphus College had seniors Taylor Drenttel and Annie Jackson, along with first-year player Sam Falk on the squad; Wartburg College put senior Paige Klostermann and junior Kelsi Sawatzky on the team.
This year marks the first time more than Knight has made the all-region squad in the same season. Kassie Martin Wells ’07 earned the honor in 2005-06 and 2006-07; Katrina Wood ’09 was also a two-time all-region player in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
In addition to the post-season awards, the NGCA released its final GolfWeek/NGCA Division III coaches top 25 poll, and Carleton ended the season ranked 20th.The Knights, for the past six seasons, have been nationally ranked.