The Fort Lewis College women’s golf team finished its best tournament in program history Tuesday in Grand Junction.
As a team, the Skyhawks shot 72-over-par 640 to finish in 10th place at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Fall Preview tournament at Tiara Rado Golf Course. The University of Tampa won at 37 over, and Dixie State and Colorado State University-Pueblo tied for second at 47 over. The total of 640 was a new program record for the Skyhawks in a two-round tournament. The previous best was 649, set during the 2015-16 season.
“Considering how hard we work at FLC to get competitive with a small budget, we’ve done a lot of work along with assistant coach Jim Foltz,” said FLC head coach Guy Begay. “The girls have put in a lot of work, as well.”
Summer Vigil tied for sixth for FLC. The junior from Albuquerque shot rounds of 3-over 74 and 4-over 75 to finish at 7-over 149. Tampa’s Kiira Riihijarvi shot rounds of 63 and 67 to win at 12 under. That was 16 shots better than CSU-Pueblo’s Courtney Ewing and University of Colorado-Colorado Springs’ Julia Baroth, who tied for second at 4 over.
Vigil’s total of 149 broke the previous program record of 152 set by Jessica Thulson during the 2015-16 season.
“Summer is starting to play to form and take another step,” Begay said. “We have a high standard for Summer because we truly feel she’s a special talent. There are some barriers for her to break down to make her believe in her ball striking, and she’s starting to develop that on another level. We forced her to take a few risks, like hitting driver on the short par-4 18th. She made birdie and par there, and it was a hole she could easily drive instead of laying up and hitting wedge in. Convincing her on taking the chance to hit driver helps her develop that cutthroat attacking attitude.”
Begay wants to see Vigil qualify for the NCAA regionals this year, and he said she handedly beat some players who qualified for regionals a year ago.
The rest of the FLC team had to step up when Isabella Martinez withdrew from the tournament. Sophie Schwartz shot rounds of 83 and 80 to finish tied for 46th along with teammate Kara Tschirhart, who also shot 83 and 80. FLC’s Emilia Martinez was alone in 57th after she shot 80 and 85.
“Sophie and Kara played well, five or six shots better than average,” Begay said. “With Bella out of the lineup with the withdraw, it forced them into a position to play well and not fall back from the rest of the field.”
FLC will play again next weekend at the Western New Mexico Fall Intercollegiate at The Golf Club at Estrella in Goodyear, Ariz.
Women’s SoccerFLC women’s soccer player Katie Smith was named the RMAC Defensive Player of the Week.
The Skyhawks earned a pair of shutout wins last weekend with a 3-0 win against Black Hills State and a 1-0 win in overtime against Regis. Smith, a freshman from Grand Junction, scored against Black Hills State, and she fired four shots while the Skyhawks held the Yellow Jackets to only one shot on goal. The Regis Rangers also had only one shot on goal against FLC.
FLC is now 3-2-1 overall and 2-0 in the RMAC. FLC will host Adams State at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Dirks Field.