COON RAPIDS, Minn—It was a record setting fall campaign for the No. 25 Carleton College women’s golf team, and the Knights capped the 2011 MIAC Championships with—you guessed it—more records.
Gina Kabasakalis (Fy./Alameda, Calif./College Prep) fired a final-round 76, shattering the 54-hole school record by eight shots at 18-over par 234, while Taylor Wells (Fy./Rochester, Minn./Century) finished one shot back after a final-round 82 as the first-year players both earned All-MIAC honors as they finished tied for fourth and sixth, respectively.
Kabasakalis shook off another rough start, firing an even-par 36 on the back nine by recording birdies on the final two holes to finish five back of medalist Vanessa Kleckner. Wells, meanwhile, stumbled to front-nine, nine-over par 45 before rallying on the back nine yet again, firing a one-over par 37.
“I’m so proud of the way Gina and Taylor performed and battled this weekend,” Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. “For two freshmen to record top-six finishes at one of the most competitive MIAC Championships I’ve seen in my 11 years is pretty amazing.”
The Knights, meanwhile, shot three of their best four scores in conference tournament history, ending Monday’s final round with a 336 to set a new 54-hole school scoring record at 1,002 to tie for fourth with Concordia-Moorhead. No. 19 St. Olaf ran away with the team title with a MIAC-record 939, followed by No. 4 Gustavus at 961 and St. Benedict at 984.
“We posted three solid rounds, but at this year’s conference tournament, solid wasn’t good enough to place in the top three,” Sieger said. “We just weren’t able to go low like we did earlier in the season because we lacked those good third and fourth scores, and having those are the key to shooting low scores.”
Still, the tie for fourth was the second-best MIAC Championships finish for the Knights, matching last year’s finish. The 1,002 total broke the previous MIAC Championships school record by 26 shots. The Knights ended the fall season with six of the program’s 12 best 18-hole scores, while their 332.6 stroke average is nearly 11 shots better than the previous school record, with the spring season yet to come.
“Overall, it was a very good fall season for us,” Sieger said. “To start four first-year players, be nationally ranked and finish in the top four at the conference tournament is pretty amazing. I think we’re a bit disappointed we couldn’t play a bit better this weekend, but we’ll evaluate our fall, figure out where we need to put our time in and start getting ready for the spring season.
Low 18-hole round-Team
1. 318, Wartburg Fall Invitational, Round 1, 9/10/11
2. 319, Wartburg Fall Invitational, Round 2, 9/11/11
3. 325, Wartburg Fall Invitational, Round 2, 9/13/09
4. 326, Georgianni Invite, Round 1, 9/3/11
5. 329, Division 3 Midwest Classic, Round 2, 9/20/09
6. 331, ACM Invitational, Round 1, 9/24/11
7. 332, Carleton Invitational, Round 1, 4/24/10
332, D3 Classic, Round 2, 9/18/11
332, MIAC Championships, Round 2, 10/2/11
10. 333, Carleton Invitational, Round 2, 4/25/10
333, Concordia Invitational, Round 2, 9/10/07
333, Small College Desert Classic, Round 2, 3/22/05