Fifth Place for Cowgirl Golf at the Santa Clara Colby Invitational

March 14, 2006

CARMEL, Calif. -

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Led by two underclassmen, the University of Wyoming Cowgirl golf team improved two places and finished fifth of 13 teams at the 11th annual Santa Clara Colby Invitational in Carmel, Calif., on Tuesday.

Boosted by closing rounds of 76 (+5) from UW sophomore Laura Mengelkamp and 77 (+6) from Cowgirl freshman Mikala Henzlik, Wyoming posted the fourth best team score of the day, 322 (+38). In fact, for the day UW's mark bettered that of event-host Santa Clara on their home course.

Combined with their first-day round of 328 (+44), Wyoming finished the two-day tournament with a total of 650 (+82), only three strokes behind the fourth place finisher, Sacramento State.

"Our goal today was to persevere," said Cowgirl head coach Josey Stender. "It rained all last night and through the beginning of our round today, but despite the conditions we did well and stuck with it. I'm proud of the team and the way they faced this mental challenge. We played a more difficult course today, which had not had time to drain and was just soaked. All things considered, knocking six strokes off of yesterday's total was much better than the score indicated.

"I'm glad that things are coming together as we head into the stretch run of our season and our most difficult tournaments; at the BYU event and the Mountain West Conference Championships."

Atop the team standings by 43 strokes was nationally ranked Pepperdine at 589 (+21). UC-Riverside was second with 632 (+64) and Santa Clara was third, scoring 634 (+66).

Pepperdine also dominated the individual leaderboard with four athletes sweeping the top three spots. Eileen Vargas earned medalist honors by seven strokes with a score of 143 (+1). Marina Choi was runner-up at 150 (+8), while Carolina Llano and Leanne Bowditch tied for third place by scoring 151 (+9).

The Wyoming tandem of Henzlik and Mengelkamp finished tied for 12th place in the field of 69 collegiate golfers. Cowgirl junior Whitney Hernandez contributed a final round of 82 (+11) to the team score, while sophomore Lindsay Bauknecht and junior Michelle Camaione each shot a score of 87 (+16) today.

The 36-hole Colby Invitational was played at the Rancho Canada Golf Course in Carmel. Monday's round was played on the East Course, while Tuesday's final round was played on the West Course which plays to a par of 71 and measures 6,121 yards.