Hernani

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Lander's current athletic claim to fame is 12 men's tennis national champions, but its new claim might be a national title in women's golf.

Freshman Teresa Caballer Hernani sits in a tie for second place with Linnea Johnasson of Nova Southeastern and Nancy Vergara of Barry who are all at 1-under 143.

“I like the course and I’m playing really well so I’m very confident,” Hernani said.

Hernani became the Bearcats' first qualifier into the NCAA championship when she placed sixth overall and qualified as an individual at the three day, three-round Super Regional Two tournament hosted by Florida Southern.

“I was told to just play and enjoy it because I’m here,” Hernani said.

Lander started its women’s golf program in the 2011-2012 season so the team hasn't formed a major presence at the championship level yet.

“This is a real good opportunity for Teresa to represent our school and our league,” Lander head coach Roger Bagwell said. “This will let people know what Lander is all about and what the Peach Belt Conference is all about and I’m real proud of her.”

Hernani sits just one stroke off two-time national champion Daniela Ortiz from Nova Southeastern.

“Our game plan coming in was just to play solid and be patient,” Bagwell said. “Just play one shot and one day at a time and that’s what we’re doing.”

Hernani shot an even 72 in the first day of competition to give her sole possession of third place going into the second round.

She started off her second round with a 1-under 35 on the front nine. She then had one blemish in the second round when she bogied the par-4 10th hole. She made up for it when she birdied the par-3 12th to get back to one-under par.

“We are one of the best kept secrets in the south,” Bagwell said. “She’s helping us get well known.”

Hernani tees off Friday for her third round with Kristen Sammarco of Armstrong Atlantic and Annie Dulman of Rollins.

“We’re not going to change anything,” Bagwell said. “I stay out of her way. If she needs me she calls me over and we chat about things. She’s got notes and she had a really good practice round. She’s sticking to her game plan and we’ll see what happens.”