Knocking off nine-time defending champion Wartburg on its home course, the Central women’s golf team rallied for its first Iowa Conference title since 1990.
It’s the program’s ninth championship overall and the first under league coach of the year Tim Wilkinson. Central trailed by 19 shots heading into the final weekend of the 72-hole tourney at Prairie Links Country Club in Waverly, but whittled the gap to one after the third round and finished with an eight-shot victory at 330-317-331-322—1,300.
The win earns the Dutch a first-ever berth in the NCAA Division III national tourney next May in Houston.
Junior Molly Timmerman, sophomore Brittany Coppess and freshman Emily Opsal received all-conference distinction. Timmerman was fourth with 84-75-84-81—324 in the tourney, which included 36 holes at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls. Coppess was fifth with 82-84-81-79—326 while Opsal carded 86-81-80-83—330 for ninth.
Central had placed second behind Wartburg the past three years and seven times in the previous nine. The Dutch later cracked the NCAA Division III Midwest Region rankings at No. 6.