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WGolf: NIACC’s Smith, Eckenrod qualify for NJCAAs

This news story was published on April 29, 2012.
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ANKENY, Iowa – Freshmen Mikayla Smith (Mason City, IA) and Alexandria Eckenrod (Mason City, IA) have reserved spots at the NJCAA National Women’s Golf Championships after placing second and fifth respectively at the Region XI Golf Championships on Saturday.

Smith, who shot 91 on the first day, shot an 80 on the second day to shoot 171 for the tournament.  She was 11 strokes behind medalist Mel Buxton of Iowa Western.

Eckenrod shot 93-85 to finish with 178 to qualify for nationals.  The winning team and the top-10 individuals earned berths to the national championship.

Sarah Steinauer (Fr., Clarinda, IA) and Moriah Sherman (Fr., Charles City, IA) both had better second rounds after struggling with windy conditions on Friday.  Steinauer carded a 107-83 for 190 and 16th-place, and Sherman shot 108-95 for 203 and 21st-place.

As a team, NIACC finished third at the tournament with 742 despite being behind third by 22 strokes to start the day.  Iowa Western won the tournament with 717.

“This was a bittersweet weekend for us,” said NIACC coach Chris Frenz.  “As a team we really felt like we had a great chance to win the team title, but the weather was absolutely brutal on Friday and it got the best of us.

“However, what an impressive way to bounce back, cutting 56 strokes off our day one total, catching a team that was 23 strokes ahead of us and finishing a strong third place as a team.”

As a team, the golf season is over for the Trojans.  Frenz says he will have a lot to work with next season, as all four members on the team are freshman.

Smith and Eckenrod will golf at the national championships on May 14-17 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Florida.

“I think both Mikayla and Alexandria will have a great chance to finish high at the national tournament,” said Frenz.  “It will be a great experience for them…I know they are excited.”


1) Iowa Western     377-340=717

2) DMACC            375-351=726

3) NIACC              399-343=742

4) Iowa Central       376-369=745

Individuals:  Mikayla Smith (2) 91-80=171; Alexandria Eckenrod 93-85=178; Sarah Steinauer (16) 107-83=190;  Moriah Sherman (21) 108-95=203

Medalist: Mel Buxton 85-75=160


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