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Grand Valley State Athletics | May 16, 2015

Sun shines elsewhere

ALLENDALE, Mich. -- For the first time, the Division II Women’s Golf National Champions come from outside the Sunshine State Conference -- and it was Indianapolis that broke that trend as the wire-to-wire leaders at the four-day tournament at The Meadows golf course. The Greyhounds shot a 299 in Saturday’s final round to cap a five-stroke victory (1,212, +60) against Rollins (1,217, +65) and back-to-back national champion Lynn (1,225, +73).

Competing as an individual, Midwestern State’s Brenna Moore captured the national championship with tournament medalist honors. Her tremendous four-day score of 297 (+9) was two shots better than Madison Lellyo of Rollins. Moore jumped out to the lead with scores of 74-73-74 before a final day 76 sealed the victory.

Since the national championship was separated from a combined Division II/Division III field to a Division II-only championship in 2000, a Florida-based school had won the past 15 team titles. Four stellar days for Indianapolis -- playing just a few hours from the UI campus -- snapped that streak and crowned the Greyhounds as champions.

Saturday’s title was also the first Division II national championship in school history for Indianapolis in any sport.

Four UIndy golfers scored in the top 20, while a pair of Greyhounds reached the top 10. Senior Chanice Young and junior Brooke Beegle finished in a tie for fifth and seventh place, respectively, and were very consistent throughout the week. Young (302, +14) led the way by shooting 76-74-75-77, while Beegle (303, +15) carded scores of 77-73-76-77.

Freshman Annika Haynes tied for 16th place, totaling a 308 (+20), while fellow rookie Paxton DeHaven finished in a tie for 20th place at 309 (+21). Junior Molly Ward closed out the UIndy group with a tie for 55th place, carding a 326 (+38).

Rollins’ team score of 293 (+5) on Saturday was the lowest round of the entire tournament, as the Tars notched a runner-up finish. Rollins finished ahead of in-state rival Lynn, the two-time defending champions. Tarleton State (1,245, +93) and Nova Southeastern (1,246, +94) rounded out the top five schools.

Moore finished second among all individuals with 10 birdies, while her 47 pars in the four days was the sixth most. She collected 12 pars and a birdie during Saturday’s round to finish two shots ahead of Lellyo, the individual leader after the opening day. Lellyo picked up five birdies on Saturday to notch a 73 (+1), capping off a four-day stretch where she carded a tournament-low round of 70 (-2) on Wednesday.

Lynn’s Samantha Smolen (300, +12) placed third, while Haley Haught of St. Edward’s (301, +13) finished one stroke behind. UIndy’s Young and Nova Southeastern’s Mailen Domecq Chantry tied for fifth place with a 302 (+14).

From 2000 to 2014, a Florida school had won every team title, including five championships for Rollins, four apiece from Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern, and the past two went to Lynn.

On Saturday, however, a team from the Midwest Region captured the championship and rewrote the record books.