No. 21 Women’s Golf finishes second at OAC Championships
HARROD - The No. 21-ranked Ohio Northern women's golf team couldn't overcome a slow start and its comeback effort wasn't enough as the Polar Bears finished second to No. 8 Otterbein at the 2008 Ohio Athletic Conference Championships Sunday afternoon at the Colonial Golfers Club.
Otterbein won the title for the fifth time in the past six years with a 36-hole total of 689. Despite carding their fourth-lowest round of the spring (345), the Polar Bears couldn't overcome a 10-shot deficit they had to start the day.
"We came out and played well today," said ONU head coach Stacey Hairston. "We played well but Otterbein played a little better and there is a reason they are the No. 8 team in the country.
John Carroll's Amanda Shannon started the day tied for the lead and fired the tournament's only sub-80 round with a 78 today to claim medalist honors.
Senior Meagan Brennan started the day four shots behind Shannon and carded a 39-44-83 to finish third. Brennan had a remarkable run in the OAC Tournament over the past four years, claiming medalist honors in 2007 and finishing third in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
Brennan also earned All-OAC honors for the fourth straight season and First Team honors for the second straight season.
Freshman Ashley Johnson had a great weekend in her first OAC Championship. The Covington-native, carded rounds of 88-86 to finish tied for sixth. She carded career-lows of 85-86 last weekend at the Illinois Wesleyan Spring Fling and backed that performance up with a solid finish this weekend. Johnson also received Honorable Mention All-OAC honors as voted upon by the coaches.
Senior Amy Gillen and sophomore Persha Ford rebounded after a tough opening rounds to post rounds of 88 on Sunday. Gillen finished tied for 9th at 182 and Ford was 11th at 183. Both Gillen and Ford received Honorable Mention All-OAC honors.
Sophomore Megan Russell rounded out the Polar Bear five with rounds of 93-95-188 to finish 13th. Russell played solid all season, averaging 89.9, and was rewarded with Second Team All-OAC honors.
Sophomore Kaylea Thresher didn't play this weekend but earned Honorable Mention All-OAC honors after a solid year.
"Overall, I think we had a great season," said Hairston. "I think we only lost to one unranked team and we finished the season with the lowest team stroke average in school history. We have nothing to be ashamed about with this year."
ONU will now hope to earn an at-large bid into the 2008 NCAA Women's Golf Championships. The NCAA will announce the field on May 5th.
1. Otterbein 352, 2. Ohio Northern 362, 3. Baldwin-Wallace 400, 4. John Carroll 425, 5. Heidelberg 432, 6. Mount Union 441, 7. Capital 444, 8. Wilmington 453, 9. Muskingum 457.
Top 5 Individual Results - All-Tournament Team
1. Amanda Shannon (JCU) 83-78-161, 2. Natalie King (Ott) 83-80-163 3. Meagan Brennan (ONU) 87-83-170, t4. Molly Sheetz (B-W) 87-86-173, t4. Rustie Anderson (Ott) 89-84-173.
ONU Individual Results
3. Meagan Brennan 87-83-170, t6. Ashley Johnson 88-86-174, t9. Amy Gillen 94-88-182, 11. Persha Ford 95-88-183, 13. Megan Russell 93-95-188.