As we near the heart of spring sports season, the golf teams are simply picking up where they left off in the fall.
The golfers play a fall season and a spring season, unlike most other Capital athletes. For the women’s team, this means reigniting a record-breaking fall performance, in which they broke the school record in September at the Baldwin Wallace Fall Invitational. They also finished third in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) fall preview tournament, in the midst of what men’s and women’s head coach Andy Garcia calls “hands-down the best season in program history.”
Garcia added that both teams have been competing in tournaments down south during the winter months against Division I and Division II schools and stacking up well. The women’s team has not lost to a fellow Division III school since October.
The women play under the senior leadership of Katie Lease, Christy Conley and Janie Moller. Though graduating three seniors could put such a small team at a disadvantage, Lease speaks of young talent within the ranks.
“It’s … exciting from my standpoint, being a senior,” Lease said about watching the underclassmen, “… I can’t wait to see them really reach their full potential.”
Lease spoke highly of freshman Madison Harsh, as well as transfer student Sydney Kelly, whom she called “amazing for us.” She also mentioned the consistency of junior Kate Kinley as a positive element as the team moves forward.
Coach Garcia also praised the work of the men’s team throughout the season, saying that they are talented despite their age.
“It’s a little bit younger of a squad … more of a team that’s just finding their identity,” Garcia said, “but having said that, they finished the [fall] season third in the OAC and … right now, I love where they’re at.”
Junior co-captain Logan Holbrook commented on the success of the men’s team, saying that a third-place finish during the fall season will pair them up with the top two teams in the OAC for the spring tournament. Holbrook was also an individual medalist during the fall season, notching a first-place finish at the University of Mount Union’s Raiders Fall Classic.
When asked about male golfers that would carry the future of the team, both Holbrook and Lease mentioned the names of Ryan Czerniakowski and Nick Brunsman. Holbrook continued, saying that the sophomores have both made four starts in tournament matches and that he “can’t wait to see what they have to bring to the table … spring and next year.”
The men, like the women, will also graduate three seniors: Ben McCollough, Ryan Kimmerling, and Justin Dearth.
As the spring season progresses, Coach Garcia says that Otterbein University is a target for both teams, especially the men. In addition to Otterbein, the University of Mount Union is the team for the women’s team to beat. Regardless of their competition throughout the OAC, Garcia is optimistic about the potential that both teams display.
“This year, I could very well have a huge problem on my hands come middle of May in deciding if I’m going the national championships with the girls or with the boys,” Garcia said, “… and I hope that’s a problem I have.”