• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Midway University golf wins conference title

It was a long two days for Midway’s golf team at the 2016 KIAC tournament, which was held at Cherry Blossom Golf Club in Georgetown, Fridayand Saturday, April 22 and 23. But in the end, the hours proved to be well worth it as the Eagles captured the 2015-16 conference championship with a total score of 655. Finishing second was Brescia with a two-day score of 667, while Point Park (Pa.) was third with a two-day score of 765, and Indiana East was fourth with a two-day score of 772. With the win, Midway qualifies for the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship, which will be held Tuesday through Friday, May 17 to 20, at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga. After finishing the first day in second place behind Brescia University by six strokes, Midway took on day two with a renewed sense of purpose as four out of five players shaved strokes off their scores from the previous day. As has often been the case this season for Midway, sophomore Kathryn Lawler led the way, shooting a 74 on the second day for a total of 155 and a second-place overall finish. Just behind her was teammate sophomore Chelsea Schack, who shot a two-day total of 163 and tying for third overall. Despite frustration with her second-round score, freshman Rylee Beard showed that she could hold her own with more experienced players, shooting a two-day total of 167 and a seventh-place finish. Sophomore Kelsey Whitehouse had one of her strongest performances of the season, tying with teammate, sophomore Amanda Cox, for 11th place. Cox, who came off of a rough first round, accomplished a rare hole-in-one on the 12th hole on her way to a second-day score of 80. Though their scores did not count towards Midway’s team total, several Eagles played as individuals and enjoyed a strong tournament. Sophomore Jasmine Valentine shot a two-day total of 187 and finished in the top 25. Sophomore Mercedes Lane shaved three strokes off of her first day total and finished with a total score of 179 and junior Katie Coyle posted a total of 186. Following the victory, head coach Otis Smith, who was named KIAC Coach of the Year, couldn’t contain his excitement. “This has been a tremendous season for Midway golf and I am so proud of each of these young ladies,” said Smith. “It’s so exciting to win the tournament and qualify for nationals in just the third season of existence. I can’t wait to see what we do in Savannah next month.” In addition to the team’s achievement, several individual players were recognized for their strong play: Kathryn Lawler: KIAC Player of the Year. Chelsea Schack: KIAC All-Conference. Comeback Player of the Year: Jasmine Valentine. (Information provided by KIAC sports information and Midway University athletics.)

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