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Cougar women taking full team to NJCAA Championships
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HUTCHINSON— There was little doubt the Barton Community College women’s golf team would win the Region VI Championships. The Cougars had won every Jayhawk Conference meet with ease this year and the region featured the exact same golfers.

The only suspense would be if Barton was able to get five golfers in the Top 10 and be able to take a full team on the NJCAA Championships in Mesa, Ariz. The Cougars will be able to do just that after placing all five in the Top 10.

The previous three season the Cougars have taken four golfers to the national meet allowing them to post a team score. But that fifth golfer will allow some leeway – with the four best scores used out of those five golfers each day.

“Getting that fifth golfer qualified is big,” Coach Doug Kaiser said. “It takes some pressure off. Our girls can relax and play without the same pressure knowing we have one score each round we don’t have to count to our team total.”

The way the region is set up no team earns an automatic spot at the NJCAA Championships. The top 10 golfers advance. That is because of the low number of teams in the region.

As expected, Barton rolled to the team title at Carey Park in Hutchinson over the weekend. Barton won by 74 strokes over the 36-hole event finishing with a 679 to Dodge City’s 753 runner-up total.

And, as has been the case all season long, Natthakan Teeratrakul won the individual medal with a 15-over 157. She defeated Coffeyville’s Julia Dierker and teammate Hye Rin Kim by six strokes. Dierker finished second with her 163 total after being Kim on the second playoff hole for the runner-up medal.

“It has been a great season for Nunee (Teeratrakul),” Coach Kaiser said. “She won every conference meet and the region as well. The only meet she didn’t win was a non-conference meet in Winfield and she got second to her teammate. Hye Rin beat her.”

That means the Cougars won every team title and individual title in the meets they played this season.

Teeratrakul pulled away on the second day for the win. The sophomore from Thailand shot an 81 to open play, tied with Kim for the lead and just one shot ahead of Dierker. But Teeratrakul came back with a 5-over 76 for the 157 total and the gold medal.

Kim, a freshman from Thailand, shot 81-82 for her 163 while Dierker had a mirror 82-81 to tie for that second spot. Both golfers bogeyed the first playoff hole but Kim bogeyed the second hole while Dierker pared for the second place tiebreaker.

Abbie Thelen had a great second day to finish fifth overall. The sophomore from Meridan shot 92 the opening day then came back with an 84 the second day to for a 176 total. Madison Walden was right behind her after shooting 93-90—183 for sixth place.

The Cougars secured the full team heading to Arizona when Great Bend sophomore Madison Werth shot 96-92—188 to finish eighth and earn a trip to the NJCAA Championships as well. Werth actually made it with a good cushion as the 11th place score – the first to miss out – was 196.

Barton will be the only school in the region with a team at the NJCAA. Dodge City qualified three golfers, Coffeyville one and Colby one.

The Cougars will look to improve on their ninth place finish at the NJCAA Championship last season, which was the highest in school history.

The event will take place May 11-14 at the Longbow Golf Course in Mesa, Ariz.

Top 10
1 Natthakan Teeratrakul, 81-76—157
*2 Julie Dierker, 82-81—163
3 Hye Rin Kim, 81-82—163
4 Tara Diaz, 89-85—174
5 Abbie Thelen, 92-84—176
6 Madison Walden, 93-90—183
7 Haley Montoya, 94-93—187
8 Madison Werth, 96-92—188
9 McKenzie Haar-Becker, 94-97—191
10 Marissa Bland, 98-97-195

Barton, 347-332—679
Dodge City, 382-371--753