Tigers reflect on MIAA golf title
Published on -4/22/2012, 7:31 PM
By KLINT SPILLER
Fort Hays State University senior Jordan Nixon's final putt at the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championship nearly lipped out, but instead, stayed in and spun into the hole. It was fortunate, because if it hadn't, FHSU might not have won the championship.
At the time, she had no idea that the team title was going to come down to one stroke.
"We kind of knew we had a pretty good shot at (the title)," Nixon said. "Each tournament that we've competed with Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri, it has been a battle between the three of us for who would come out on top."
On Tuesday, FHSU came out on top with a team score of 664 at Paradise Pointe Golf Course in Smithville, Mo.
Missouri Western State University and Northwest Missouri State University trailed with 665 and 667, respectively.
As a result, the Tigers were responsible for winning just the school's second MIAA championship since joining the conference in 2006. The men's basketball team won the MIAA tournament in 2011.
It was a history-making tournament victory junior Carmen Thompson said still hasn't completely sank in for her.
"It gives me goose bumps," Thompson said.
Heading into the tournament, Thompson said the Tigers knew it was going to be a close battle between the MIAA foes.
"It is usually pretty close because they have some really good players and we have some really good players," Thompson said. "We knew we would have to work for it."
Nixon led the way with a fourth-place finish and score of 162.
Thompson was clutch during the second day with an 80, which helped lift the Tigers, and her two-day total of 166 tied her for fifth.
"Without her pulling through, we wouldn't have accomplished what we did," Nixon said.
Seniors Kiley Johansen and Samantha Nielsen tied for seventh and 13th with scores of 167 and 172, respectively. Freshman Sami Hobson finished 15th with a 173.
For FHSU women's golf, championships have been bountiful recently.
In 2009, the Tigers won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's regular season and tournament championship.
"We are happy to be the best in our area at this point, there is no doubt," Tiger coach Rich Guffey said. "Hopefully it helps us recruit some more quality kids and show some winning tradition."
Though Nixon was the top performer for the Tigers and was instrumental in the championship, she had a hard time enjoying it.
She woke up with a sinus infection the morning of Day 1. At one point, she had a fever of 102 degrees. While she battled through it, she had to stay in while her teammates celebrated.
"I haven't gotten to celebrate at all," Nixon said.
However, she said the championship was a good way to cap her senior season.
"This was our last hurrah, I guess you could say."