1 of 2
Denis Larson
Karen Valcarce (left) stands with her medal. She finished second at the Maverick Spring Invitational.

Westminster's women's golf team shot its lowest score of the season during round one of the Maverick Spring Invitational, highlighted by Karen Valcarce's 2 under par round of 70. The tournament was hosted by Colorado Mesa at the Golf Club at Redlands Mesa,

The host team finished atop the team leaderboard on both days, with a final team total of 639 for first place. Beautiful conditions on Monday lent to an individual round scoring average of 83. Day two play was impacted greatly by sustained 30 mph winds, with gusts up to 50 mph. Consequently, the average shot up to 90.89.

The Griffins were not immune to the windy conditions. After a day one combined team score of 317, their lowest of the season, putting them tied for fourth with Colorado Christian University, the team score increased to 365 on day two. The team finished sixth with a total score of 684 points.

Karen Valcarce's 2-under 70 not only was a personal best, but it was the low round of the tournament and put her in first place after round 1. Her round of 82 on day two was equally as good given the conditions but one shot short of victory. Valcarce finished second, her third top-five finish this spring, with a two-day total of 152. She was also second in tournament par-3 scoring (E) and par-4 scoring (+5), and she tied for ninth in par-5 scoring (+3). Valcarce led all golfers in the field with eight birdies.

Ashley Dechant competed as an individual, but her scores of 82-93 were good enough to tie for 23rd overall and finish second on the team. Her performance also qualified her to compete with the team at the RMAC Conference Tournament next week in Chandler, Arizona.

Jesella de Jesus finished tied for 25th with a combined score of 176. She shot 82 on day one and 94 on day two. De Jesus also finished fourth in par-5 scoring (+1).

The Griffins' other finishers were: Kanna Crosland in 27th place, 81-98—179; Cassie Campos in 28th place, 87-93—180; and Grace Nakamura in tied for 31st place, 84-99—183. Nakamura also finished tied for ninth with Valcarce and Dechant in par-5 scoring (+3).

Coach Denise Larson remarked, "We continue to improve as a team and I feel we are very close to having multiple players put it together on the same day. With her play this spring, Karen Valcarce has solidified that she is a top contender in the conference. We are excited to compete at the RMAC Championships later this week."

The Griffins begin their conference title quest this Sunday, April 22, at Ocotillo Golf Club in Chandler, Arizona.

Eric Stephens is the Director of Athletic Communications and Events for Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Westminster is a provisional member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division II level.