Stars claim men’s, women’s SAC championships at Twin Hills

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University clinched the team title in the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s golf championships Tuesday at Twin Hills Golf & Country Club.

Anthony Marchesani of the Stars became individual runner-up, while Garrison Mendoza tied for third to reel in all-SAC accolades. Oklahoma City, ranked second in the NAIA, snared its fifth SAC title in six years.

The Stars own 20 SAC crowns – 17 in the past 19 years. OCU has won 22 conference championships, including two while in the Midwestern City Conference, now known as the Horizon League. OCU and SAC runner-up Texas Wesleyan clinched bids into the NAIA Championships on May 19-22 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. OCU finished as national runner-up last year.

"Obviously I’m excited about our performance," OCU coach Kyle Blaser said. "Yesterday wind was out of the north, today it was out of the south, so it was a whole different golf course. I was proud of the guys. We struggled for a little bit, but ended up stepping up when it counted. We had some guys really battle.

"We’ve got a team that’s really even. I’m really proud of our effort. It got tough. We have a lot of room for improvement. We have things we have to tighten up, but I’m really, really excited about this group."

Oklahoma City posted a score of 282-290-288-860, while eighth-ranked Texas Wesleyan shot a 290-289-288-867. Sixth-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) carded 286-292-296-874, and 17th-ranked Oklahoma Baptist compiled a 292-295-295-882.

Zach Oliver of Oklahoma Baptist knocked off Marchesani in the second hole of a playoff to capture tournament medalist. Oliver (72-71-72-215) and Marchesani (75-69-71-215) were tied through 55 holes, but Oliver sank a birdie to finish the extra holes.

Mendoza (68-77-71-216), Wayland Baptist’s Ryan Connolly (69-71-76), Texas Wesleyan’s Jose Rolz (71-75-70-216) tied for third to become all-conference performers.

Marchesani picked up SAC player of the year, and OCU’s Kyle Blaser became SAC coach of the year. Andrew Williamson of Wayland Baptist won league freshman of the year.

OCU’s other top-10 players were Matthew Cheung and Jamie Warman, who tied for eighth place. Cheung contributed a 70-75-73-218, and Warman chipped in a 74-71-73-218.

The temperature climbed from 55 degrees in the morning to 75 in the afternoon. Winds blew 8-17 mph with gusts up to 26 mph.

During the tournament, Carlos Ardila of Southwestern Christian drained two eagles, and Cheung, Rolz and Sam Russell of the Stars each nailed 14 birdies. Oklahoma Baptist’s Drew Posada had an ace on the par-3, 183-yard 11th hole in the second round Monday.

Zach Oliver, Oklahoma Baptist
Anthony Marchesani, Oklahoma City
Angel Aguirre, Texas-Brownsville
Jose Rolz, Texas Wesleyan
Ryan Connolly, Wayland Baptist
Garrison Mendoza, Oklahoma City
Coach of the year
Kyle Blaser, Oklahoma City
Freshman of the year
Andrew Williamson, Wayland Baptist
Player of the year
Anthony Marchesani, Oklahoma City

Stars capture fourth straight SAC women’s golf championship

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University secured its fourth consecutive conference title in the Sooner Athletic Conference women’s golf championships Tuesday at Twin Hills Golf & Country Club.

Kailey Campbell, Claudia Chemin and Katie-Lee Wilson took home all-conference honors for Oklahoma City. The two-time defending national champion Stars, ranked fourth in the NAIA, captured their 13th SAC crown in 15 years.

OCU produced the winning score of 308-303-611 to finish ahead of ninth-ranked Texas Wesleyan (310-306-616), 10th-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) (316-305-621) and 25th-ranked Oklahoma Baptist (327-315-642) on the par-72, 5,918-yard course.

The temperature climbed from 61 degrees in the morning to 75 in the afternoon. Winds were 9-17 mph with gusts up to 26 mph.

"The conditions got difficult," OCU coach Marty McCauley said. "With a 20 mph south wind, Twin Hills is a very difficult golf course, and the greens were really fast. It was a grind. I have to take my hat off to Texas Wesleyan and Wayland Baptist. It was a complete showdown from hole one. The girls did a terrific job of staying patient and persevering through the adversity early in the round."

Hannah Duvall of Wayland Baptist became the SAC individual champion by putting together a 77-70-147. Taylor Icenberger of Texas Wesleyan took runner-up with a 74-75-149, and Texas Wesleyan’s Alexis Belton (79-72-151) and Chemin (78-73- 151) tied for third.

All-SAC honors also went to Wayland Baptist’s Marina Gallegos (75-77-152), Campbell (78-75-153) and Wilson (72-81-153).

Alex Schies of Texas Wesleyan was named conference player of the year, while her coach Kevin Milliken was coach of the year. Belton, Chemin and Emma Allen of the Stars each sank a tournament-high seven birdies. Taylor Cusack of OCU led the field with two eagles – on the par-5 13th on Tuesday and the par-5 second hole Monday. Allen was freshman of the year.

Allen provided OCU with an 80-74-154 to take eighth, while Caroline Goodin posted a 78-77-155 to tie for ninth. The Stars’ Anna Mikish had an 83-77-160. Mikish also eagled the 13th hole.

Stars competing as individuals were Chemin, Abby Thompson (78-78-156), Cusack (79-84-163) and Raegan Barnes (79-85-164).

The NAIA Championships take place May 12-15 at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga.

Hannah Duvall, Wayland Baptist
Taylor Icenberger, Texas Wesleyan
Claudia Chemin, Oklahoma City
Alexis Belton, Texas Wesleyan
Marina Gallegos, Wayland Baptist
Kailey Campbell, Oklahoma City
Katie-Lee Wilson, Oklahoma City
Coach of the year
Kevin Milliken, Texas Wesleyan
Freshman of the year
Emma Allen, Oklahoma City
Player of the year
Alex Schies, Texas Wesleyan


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