April 21, 2007
ST. GEORGE, Utah -
There is no doubt that the University of Wyoming Cowgirl golf team has narrowed the gap between themselves and the rest of the Mountain West Conference teams over the last couple of years. However, that fact did little to hide the disappointment of UW finishing seventh on Saturday at the 2007 MWC Women's Golf Championship in St. George, Utah.
Wyoming shot a final round score of 319 (+35) and totaled 957 (+105) over 54 holes to finish a mere one stroke behind the San Diego State Aztecs, who placed sixth. UW was eight strokes back of fifth place Colorado State and nine strokes away from defending MWC team champion UNLV.
At the 2004 MWC Championship the Cowgirls finished last and were 88 strokes behind the next closest school. In 2005, UW was 39 strokes from the back of the field and last season they were 20 strokes removed.
"We were in this and the girls are disappointed that we could not make up that one stroke," said second-year Cowgirl head coach Josey Stender. "We are justified in being disappointed because every team member feels like we belong here and should compete. We're so close.
"Overall we improved over this year and this season has been good for our program. All of the team has matured in their own ways and they will all continue to get better."
TCU claimed the top team spot and the win marked the Horned Frogs' first MWC Women's Golf Championship title. Led by three seniors, TCU carded a final round 297 (+13) and 54-hole total of 903 (+51). BYU could not hold onto the lead they began the day with and finished with a final round 304 (+20) for a 904 (+52) total to earn second place honors. New Mexico shot 926 (+74) for the championship, placing them third in the seven team field. UNLV was fourth with a score of 948 followed by Colorado State fifth (949), San Diego State sixth (956) and Wyoming seventh (957).
UW's top finishes came from a pair of juniors, Lindsay Bauknecht and Laura Mengelkamp. Both Cowgirls earned their best career placing at the league championship, with Mengelkamp tying for 11th out of 35 golfers, totaling 232 (+19), and Bauknecht tying for 17th with a three day total of 237 (+24). Each shot a final round of 76 (+5).
Towards their final round team tally Wyoming counted scores of 82 (+11) and 85 (+14), respectively, from freshmen Jonelle Martinez and Sarah Fogerty. Cowgirl Mikala Henzlik struggled through the final 18 holes at 90 (+19).
Jodi Ewart of New Mexico captured the individual title after firing a final round 72 (+1) giving her a championship total of 220 (+7). TCU's Valentine Derrey finished one stroke behind Ewart, carding an event total of 221 (+8). BYU's Rachel Newren rounded out the medalist honors, earning the third sport with a 223 (+10).
For the second straight year, the league championship was played at Entrada at Snow Canyon, a par 71, 6,210 yard course.
There were no rounds under par recorded at the MWC Championship on the difficult Entrada layout.
At the conclusion of the tournament the MWC announced its all-conference team and individual awards. BYU's Newren and New Mexico's Ewart were named the Co-Players of the Year, while Ewart also earned Freshman of the Year honors. BYU head coach Sue Nyhus was selected the Coach of the Year. The complete All-MWC squad is listed below.
Juli Erekson, Natalia Jiminez, Rachel Newren - BYU
Jodi Ewart - New Mexico
Camille Blackerby, Valentine Derrey, Catherine Matranga, - TCU
Natasha Krishna - UNLV