Kelsey Moede finished second at the MIAC Championships. (photo by Greg Smith)
COON RAPIDS, Minn.––Kelsey Moede (So./Lake Oswego, Ore.) fired a final-round seven-over par 79 to finish second individually and Grace Gilmore (Fy./Edina, Minn.) matched that score for her career low as No. 11 Carleton College finished second at the MIAC Championships.
The Knights, who entered the final round trailing defending champion St. Olaf by nine shots after a second-round 315, finished 11 behind the nation’s 12th-ranked team after a final-round 324, ending with a school-record 977 for the 54-hole event. The total shattered the old record, set at last year’s conference tournament, by 25 shots. It marked Carleton’s best finish ever at the MIAC Championships.
“It really was an amazing three days,” Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. “For the ladies to post the scores they did in the conditions we faced was inspiring. Of course we were bummed not to win the golf tournament, but I felt like we gave it everything we had this weekend and that the girls had nothing to regret.”
Gina Kabasakalis (So./Alameda, Calif./College Prep) tied for fourth and Taylor Wells (So./Rochester, Minn./Century) finished eighth. Those two, along with Moede, earned All-MIAC honors with their top-10 finishes. It marked the second all-conference honors for Wells and Kabasakalis and the first for Moede.
Moede, the first-round leader, nearly rallied from a three-shot deficit, finishing the 54-hole event at 20-over par 236. It marked her third career runner-up finish and her fourth top-five finish in six tournaments this season. She was edged out by St. Olaf’s Molly Erickson by a single shot.
“Kelsey has been our rock for the past seven months, and she’s going to break through soon and get that first victory,” Sieger said. “She’s probably the most consistent ball striker in our conference.”
Kabasakalis ended at 240, four shots back of Moede, while Wells was four shots back of Kabasakalis at 244.
No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus finished third at 958, followed by No. 17 St. Thomas at 1,000. The Oles earned the MIAC’s automatic bid to next spring’s NCAA Championships with the victory.
Carleton is back in action Sunday through Tuesday, participating in the Golfweek NCAA Preview in Destin, Fla.