HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s golf team ended a splendid postseason run Friday, finishing national runner-up at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I championships at the Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa.
It’s the third national runner-up finish for the Wallace State golf team under NJCAA Hall of Fame coach Dan York and the first since his teams accomplished the feat in 1993 and 1996.
For the second consecutive year, Wallace State laid claim to the individual national champion as freshman Cooper Brown finished tied for first with a 5-over par 293, earning low medalist honors. Brown, a Canadian, shot a 1-under 71 on the final day of the four-day event and concluded the nationals shooting 71-76-75-71. He tied for first with Midland (Texas) Community College’s David Wicks.
York, who wrapped up his 27th season with the Lions, had his first individual national champion last season when Aksel Olsen achieved the feat and brought back the Arnold Palmer Award to Hanceville.
Now, Brown has made it back-to-back individual national champions for Wallace State. Brown was also named a NJCAA All-American at the conclusion of the tournament, marking the 15th player under York to receive the honor.
Olsen finished tied for eighth for the Lions in Iowa. He started Friday’s final round in fourth place, but shot a 79 to close the tournament. Olsen carded a 77-71-73-79 to finish with a 12-over 300.
Chris Atchley, Will McDowell and Patrick Twesme also contributed to Wallace State’s national runner-up finish.
Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College completed the wire-to-wire national championship. Wallace State was nestled in second place the entire way as well and started the day only three strokes shy of first place. Indian Hills pulled away over the final 18 holes, shooting a 6-over 294, while the Lions finished with a 19-over 307. Wallace State finished the tournament with a 19-over 1206. Indian Hills shot a 6-over 1190 for the title.
The Lions qualified for the program’s 19th national tournament with a runner-up finish at the NJCAA District 4 tournament in mid-April. Wallace State topped that feat on April 29, by winning its 11th Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC)/Region 22 championship and first since 2008. The Lions began the state tournament on fire, leading by 25 strokes after the first round. They went on to beat defending national champion Central Alabama by seven strokes for the state title. For the second consecutive season, Atchley was Wallace State’s low medalist at the state tournament, earning the sophomore from Buckhorn a spot on the NJCAA All-Region 22 first team.
Brown was also selected to the NJCAA All-Region 22 first team.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.
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