by DAVID ALBRECHT
Winona State University (WSU) entered the weekend ranked number 10 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) DII Central Region and proceeded to shoot a team-record 280 on Friday, April 5, while placing second at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Preview with a two-day total of 577.
The Warriors shot a 297 on Saturday and finished just four strokes off the pace set by Washburn (573). Senior Michael Schmitz, who was named the NSIC Golfer of the Week two weeks ago, won the event with a two-round score of 137 (-5).
Schmitz carded rounds of 68 (-3) and 69 (-2) to WSU and the field of 104 participants.
Ben Jasper (147) tied for 14th place overall. The Warriors’ other senior fired off rounds of 68 and 79 (+8). Brady Madsen tied with Jasper after carding rounds of 70 (-1) and 77 (+6). Tyler Beeck (149) rounded out the team scoring with rounds of 74 (+3) and 75 (+4).
While the Warriors’ A team bested conference foes in Sioux Falls, Concordia, Bemidji State and Minnesota State, Winona State’s B team tied with Mankato for ninth overall with a team score of 616. Dylan Brown posted the B team’s lowest two-day total of 150 with rounds of 72 (+1) and 78 (+7).
The Warriors will return to the links in their biggest outing of the season with the NSIC Championship slated for April 18-20 back in Liberty, Mo. The winner of the conference event will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Super Regional. Winona State could also earn an at-large berth based on its regional ranking when the season concludes.