For the M State-Fergus Falls golf team, the long wait is over.
The Spartans and head coach Jason Retzlaff won the 2017-18 MCAC State and Region XIII men's golf championship in dramatic fashion back in October, coming from behind to overcome Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and stay ahead of Mesabi Range College and Rochester Community & Technical College to claim the Region XIII team trophy and book a trip to the 2018 NJCAA Division III Golf national championships, held at the Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, New York.
M State had to wait almost seven months to tee up again in a competitive round and will do so today, Tuesday, June 5 as they pursue the NJCAA Division III Men's Golf championship. To learn more about the 2017 Fall Regional competition, please click this link.
Despite the layoff between events, M State has the benefit of experience on their side. The Spartans are making their seventh consecutive trip as a team to Chautauqua for the spring championships, which stands as the longest current streak among the NJCAA Division III golf ranks. Coach Retzlaff's teams have taken third place over the past two seasons and claimed the 2012 National Championship.
The Spartans are among 30 golf teams in New York; M State will compete beginning at 10:20am EST. For more the NJCAA Division III Golf Championships website, go to: http://www.njcaa.org/sports/mgolf/2017-18/div3/national_championship/index
The M State team is led by Mason Landborg, a sophomore who earned second 2nd team All America honors last year for the Spartans and was the 2017 MCAC runner-up. Landborg set a new Spartan record for a single round when he shot a 67 to close the gap and overcome Southwest Technical College for the fall title. Freshman Hunter Moen claimed MCAC tournament and Region XIII medalist honors in October and will counted upon for a strong week of play in New York.
The M State squad has quality depth as well, with sophomore Nick Kress, an 2017 Honorable Mention All-American selection, bringing an experienced and steady game to the table in New York. Additionally, a pair of freshman, Jordan Kern and Blake Bloedorn, developed their game over the fall season and will be major factors in the M State team this June.
According to Coach Retzlaff,
"It has been a tough spring for weather that has limited the amount of practice before the courses opened up. But our guys work extremely hard and will be ready to go. It's always a great pleasure to be a part of such a first-rate event in Chautauqua. As a four day tournament, it is the ultimate test in patience and mental toughness against outstanding competition. The greens at Chautauqua are always a great challenge. We look forward to competing against the best of NJCAA Division III golf in what will be a tremendous experience for our team."
Be sure to follow the MCAC and NJCAA Twitter feeds for updates on the 2018 NJCAA Division III Men's Golf tournament over June 5-8.
This release sponsored in part by:
The United Heroes League seeks to keep military kids healthy and active through sports while their parents are serving the nation. The United Heroes League is headquartered in Hastings, Minnesota and offers several opportunities for colleges, businesses, organizations and individuals to help support their cause. The #1 goal for the United Heros League is to ensure that all 5 million military kids are able to develop critical life skills through sports. This intense focus on youth development and serving the families of our miliary service members motivates the United Heroes League to keep programs focused. This focus has also inspired over 90 professional athletes and over 30 sports franchises to lend their name and support to the United Heroes League.
About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.
For more information, visit www.mcacsports.org