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Carleton Athletics

Kabasakalis Notches First Collegiate Victory, Knights Second at UST Invite

April 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm
Gina Kabasakalis
Gina Kabasakalis (shown here at the 2011 MIAC Championships) recorded her first collegiate victory at the UST Invitational. Her 11-over par 155 is the second-best 36-hole total in school history
Photo: Greg Smith

Final Results (pdf)

BECKER, Minn.--Gina Kabasakalis (Fy./Alameda, Calif.) was one off her career-best with a three-over par 75 in Saturday's first round, making four birdies over the final 10 holes and three in the last five, and added an eight-over 80 in Sunday's windy and rainy conditions to win the UST Invitational.

She tied for first place but won individual medalist honors on a scorecard playoff, helping No. 20 Carleton finish second at 659, the second-lowest 36-hole score in school history. The Knights carded a final-round 327 after Saturday's 332, improving by five shots despite the rugged conditions of Sunday's final round and were the only team among the top six finishers to improve upon their first-round score. The 327 tally is the fifth-best in school history.

"I was really proud of the ladies on Sunday," Carleton head coach Eric Sieger said. "We didn't feel great about the way we played at Saturday in those ideal conditions, and I challenged them a bit and they really responded. We showed a lot of toughness on Sunday."

Fellow rookies Taylor Wells (7th) and Kelsey Moede (8th) also finished inside the top 10. Wells, who had less than her "A" game, still managed a 163 total while Moede notched her first career top-10 finish at 164, also a career best.

No. 11 St. Olaf won the event at 641, while Carleton overcame a one-stroke deficit heading in the final round to top St. Benedict at 670. Concordia-Moorhead was fourth at 692 while host St. Thomas rounded out the top five at 697.

The two-day dual between Kabasakalis and St. Olaf's Molly Knutson, however, was nip-and-tuck the whole way. The two Northfield players loosed a birdie barrage on the back nine on Saturday, combining for six birdies total over the final nine holes, capped by Kabasakalis' kick-in birdie on the 18. The pair carried the momentum into Sunday's final round, with Knutson taking a two-shot lead into the back nine. Kabasakalis was able to close the gap, though, and dodged a short birdie attempt by Knutson on the par-4 17th. Both players had good looks at potential winning birdie putts on the 18th, with Kabasakalis' 20-foot attempt just sliding off the mark while Knutson's 12-foot attempt was shy as well. The Knight's final-round 80 gave her the tiebreaker over Knutson.

Kalasakalis' four birdies was one off the Carleton single-round record, set by Kassie Martin-Wells '07 when she won the Luther Invitational on Sept. 19, 2005. Her first-round 75 was one off the school single-round scoring record, held jointly by Kabasakalis and Taylor Wells.

Carleton will continue its sprint of a spring season by traveling south to Waverly, Iowa, to participate in the Wartburg Spring Invitational on April 21-22. The Knights cap their spring regular-season by hosting the Carleton Invitational at Northfield Golf Club on April 28-29.