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Westminster Women Win Frontier Conference Title; Men Third

Westminster Women’s Golf wins Frontier Title; Men Finish ThirdMISSOULA, Mont. – For the first time in school history the Westminster women’s golf team are champions of the Frontier Conference. Westminster defeated Rocky Mountain College in a 36-hole championship match on Tuesday for the title and the automatic invite to the NAIA National Championships.Westminster won the championship match 632-672 over Rocky. The Griffins held a 313-330 lead following the morning round and then won the final 18 holes 319-342. Westminster qualified for the championship match with a 315-376 win over Montana Tech in Monday’s semi-finals.Junior Mikayla Williamson led Westminster in the finals by shooting 154 over the two rounds. Her first round 76 tied teammate, fellow junior Jenteal Jackson for the best round of the championship rounds. Jackson, the Frontier Golfer of the Year, posted 155 strokes in the two rounds. Freshman Candace Dechant added a 158 in her two rounds including a round-best 77 in the final 18 holes. Brandi Bork, also a freshman shot 165 with sophomore Keni Nelson posting a 184 in the final.”This was an incredibly gutsy performance today. They (women) had not had to play a 36-hole day since the U. of Great Falls tournament last September.  To play as well as they did in some very cold and windy conditions shows that they have what it takes to be a contender at the National Championships,” said Swing Coach and Rose Park Assistant Pro Mike Nickas.Westminster has now qualified for the school’s first-ever trip to the NAIA National Championships. The 2011 tournament will be played at the Link Hills Country Club in Greenville, Tenn. from May 17-20. The four-round event features 24 teams and 129 individuals.The Westminster men finished third in the event after beating Rocky 305-306 in the 3rd Place Match on Tuesday. The Griffins defeated Montana Tech 295-328 in Monday’s quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Lewis-Clark State 285-299 in the semi-finals.Matt Bushman, a freshman posted a 72 in Monday’s round to lead Westminster. Fellow freshman Collin Wilkinson finished with 77 strokes against Rocky while senior Bryce Till and freshman Brian Panter shot 78. Alex Howlett, also a freshman completed the Griffin team with an 84 on Tuesday.Said Nickas, “We saved our best for last this year. Those were three of the lowest rounds we’ve shot this season and it couldn’t have come at a better time for us. Unfortunately, we ran into a bit of a buzzsaw in Lewis-Clark State in the semis, but we were able to regroup and beat Rocky Mountain head to head for the first time that I can remember. This was a great performance by our guys, and I was so happy that our lone senior Bryce (Till) could end his collegiate career on a high note. He’s unquestionably been our team leader for the last two years and we’ll be missing him greatly.”