By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern
LINCOLN, Neb. – (Individual Results | Team Results) Oklahoma City claimed its sixth national championship, first since 2009, with a 12-stroke victory at the 19th annual NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships held at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln, Neb.
The Stars, only trailed after the first round, registered a final round score of 304 en route to winning the national championship. Oklahoma City shots rounds of 310-305-305-304 – 1,224 (+72). The Stars have won an NAIA best sixth national titles.
“This is really special for us,” head coach Marty McCauley said. “It has been four years since we have been standing in this spot and I am really proud of the team. The girls have worked their tails off to get here. This is a really special feeling to be standing in this spot.”
In addition to winning the team prize, Oklahoma City’s Jessica Schiele took home the individual medalist by shooting rounds of 75-68-74-78 (295) t o claim the top spot by five strokes. Schiele took the individual lead after the second round, as she fired a four-under-par 68 in the second round and never looked back as she held the lead the rest of the national championship. Schiele is the fourth individual medalist from Oklahoma City and the first since Sydney Cox won the award in 2009.
“It’s amazing that we pulled together to win the national championship,” said Schiele. “I struggled a little bit today with nervous but I had coach with me the entire round to help calm my nervous.”
In addition to Schiele, the Stars had one other individual finish in the top five with Ela Folch (75-78-74-73 - 300) taking second place, five strokes behind Schiele.
Defending national champion British Columbia finished second place with a combined score of 84-over par, 1,236 (312-308-310-306). Embry-Riddle (Fla.) jumped into third place by firing a round of 301. The Eagles finished with rounds of 301-334-308-301 – 1,244 to finish the national championship 92-over par.
Cal State San Marcos finished one-stroke behind Embry-Riddle for fourth place. The Cougars carded rounds of 310-305-318-312 – 1,245. Rounding out the top five was Lubbock Christian (Texas). The Lady Chaps shot a four round total of 1,251 (304-314-313-320).
Behind Schiele and Folch, Mariah Montoya of Lubbock Christian finished third, posting a score of 304 for the week. There was a three way tie for fourth place with Maria Saavedra of Bellevue, Shelbye Hill of Lubbock Christian and Haley Cameron of British Columbia who all posted 18-over par 306 for the national championship.
This year’s championships concluded with an awards ceremony that included the announcement of McCauley as the NAIA Coach of the Year and the all-tournament team, which includes the top 15 individuals. For McCauley, the award is the first national coach of the year award of his career.
2013 All-Tournament Team
Jessica Schiele, Oklahoma City
Elia Folch, Oklahoma City
Mariah Montoya, Lubbock Christian (Texas)
Maria Saavedra, Bellevue (Neb.)
Shelbye Hill, Lubbock Christian (Texas)
Haley Cameron, British Columbia
Sophie Olley, Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
Esther Kang, Northwood (Texas)
Connie Pitenis, Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
Alazne Urizar, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)
Sofia Molinaro, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)
Tarah Winfield, Northwood (Fla.)
Stephanie Wong, British Columbia
Christian Liggin, Coastal Georgia
Sunny Powers, Concordia (Ore.)