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League Titles at Stake

8 NCAA Div. I conference championships in next 2 weeks feature Colorado teams


by Gary Baines - 4/17/2017


When Boulder Country Club and the University of Colorado host the Pac-12 meet April 28-30, it'll mark the first time a major NCAA Division I men's conference championship will be held in Colorado since 1993, when the Western Athletic Conference tournament was conducted at Eisenhower Golf Club.

We'll be writing plenty about the Pac-12 tourney in the coming two weeks, but that's just one of eight DI conference championships involving Colorado schools that will start before the end of the month. So here we'll take a brief look at each tournament.

The University of Denver women will be attempting to claim a remarkable 14th consecutive league title, this one at the Summit League Championships April 23-25 in Nebraska City. A year ago in that event, the Pioneers prevailed by a whopping 52 strokes.

All told, there will likely be three Colorado-based DI teams that go into the conference tournaments ranked in the top 50 in the nation. The University of Colorado men's and women's squads are both in the top 25 in at least one ranking, while the DU women are as high as 48th.

But whether the conference championships mark the end of the season for a given local team, or just the beginning of a postseason run, here's the rundown of what's on tap for the nine NCAA Division I schools located in Colorado. We're also including the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournaments, which feature the state's DII programs.

-- CSU Women at Mountain West Championships, April 17-19 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Last year's finish by CSU: Sixth out of nine teams. Katrina Prendergast was runner-up individually.

Current national ranking for CSU: 120th (Golfstat), 120th Golfweek.

Top Season Stroke Average for CSU: Sophomore Katrina Prendergast (74.31).

-- CSU Men and Air Force Academy Men at Mountain West, April 21-23 in Tucson, Ariz.

Last year's finish by CSU: Fourth out of 11 teams. Dominic Kieffer (graduated) was sixth individually. Max Oelfke (now a junior) was 15th.

Current national ranking for CSU: 76th (Golfweek), 81st (Golfstat).

Top Season Stroke Average for CSU: Sophomore Jake Staiano (71.73).

Last year's finish by Air Force: 10th out of 11 teams. Sunwoo Choi (now a senior) was 22nd individually.

Current national ranking for Air Force: 194th Golfstat, 199th Golfweek.

Top Season Stroke Average for Air Force: Senior Brenden Bone (73.9).

-- UNC Women at Big Sky, April 21-23 in Boulder City, Nev.

Last year's finish by UNC: Eighth out of 12 teams. Janet Yeo (transferred from UNC) was 21st individually. Kala Keltz (now a senior) was 37th.

Note: Coloradan Jaylee Tait of Montana State finished third individually in 2016. Tait was named third-team All-Big Sky this year.

Current national ranking for UNC: 144th (Golfstat), 145th (Golfweek).

Top Season Stroke Average for UNC: Freshman Morgan Sahm (75.4), named third-team All-Big Sky.

-- DU Women at Summit Legaue, April 23-25 in Nebraska City

Last year's finish by DU: First (13th consecutive conference title for the Pioneers). DU's Jessica Carty (now a senior) earned the individual championship.

Current national ranking for DU: 48th (Golfstat), 52nd (Golfweek).

Top Season Stroke Average for DU: Senior Jessica Carty (74.8).

-- Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Men, April 24-25 in Chandler, Ariz.

Colorado Teams Competing: Colorado-Colorado Springs, Colorado Mines, CSU-Pueblo, Colorado Christian, Colorado Mesa, Regis, Fort Lewis.

2016 Championship: UCCS won team title. Top individual finishers from the Colorado schools were Colin Prater of UCCS and Jacob Allenback of CSU-Pueblo, who shared second place.

Top National DII Team Ranking for Participating Colorado Team: Colorado-Colorado Springs (47th).

Top National DII Individual Ranking for Participating Colorado Player: Colin Prater of UCCS (ninth).

-- Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Women, April 24-25 in Chandler, Ariz.

Colorado Teams Competing: Metro State Denver, Colorado Mesa, CSU-Pueblo, Colorado-Colorado Springs, Regis, Colorado Christian, Fort Lewis, Adams State.

2016 Championship: Metro State Denver won team title. Taylor Walters of Colorado Mesa (now a senior) claimed individual championship.

Top National DII Ranking for Colorado Team: Regis (37th).

Top National DII Individual Ranking for Participating Colorado Player: Freshman Mary Weinstin of Regis (58th).

-- CU Women at Pac-12, April 24-26 in Tucson, Ariz.

Last year's finish by CU: Fifth out of 11 teams. Alexis Keating (graduated) was fifth individually. Brittany Fan was 12th.

Current national ranking for CU: 22nd (Golfstat), 26th (Golfweek).

Top Season Stroke Average for CU: Senior Esther Lee (73.0).

CU Women Ranked in Top 100 Nationally: Esther Lee (34th, Golfstat; 35th, Golfweek); freshman Kirsty Hodgkins (61st, Golfstat; 91st, Golfweek).

TV: Taped coverage airing May 2 at 5:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network.

-- UNC Men at Big Sky, April 28-30 in Boulder City, Nev.

Last year's finish by UNC: Fourth out of eight teams. Steven Kupcho (graduated) was sixth individually. Joshua Matz was 11th.

Current national ranking for UNC: 130th (Golfstat), 147th (Golfweek).

Top Season Stroke Average for UNC: Freshman Coby Welch (73.1).

-- CU Men at Pac-12, April 28-30 at Boulder Country Club.

Note: 36 holes April 28 and 18 each April 29 and 30.

Admission: Free.

Last year's finish by CU: Sixth out of 12 teams. Jeremy Paul (a senior who turned pro on April 17, 2017) was seventh individually.

Current national ranking for CU: 23rd (Golfweek), 25th (Golfstat).

Top Season Stroke Average for CU: Jeremy Paul (71.75). Note: Paul turned pro on April 17, thus ending his college career.

CU Men Ranked in Top 100 Nationally: Jeremy Paul (81st, Golfstat); senior Ethan Freeman (95th, Golfstat). Note: Paul turned pro on April 17, thus ending his college career.

TV: Taped coverage airing May 7 at noon on Pac-12 Network.

-- DU Men at Summit League, April 30-May 2 in Newton, Kan.

Last year's finish by DU: Seventh out of nine teams. Chris Korte (now a junior) was second individually.

Current national ranking for DU: 114th (Golfweek), 119th (Golfstat).

Top Season Stroke Average for DU: Junior Chris Korte (73.3).
 




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