The Knox College men’s golf team was unable to put home field advantage to full use last weekend, placing ninth overall at the Scot-Fire Iniviational on April 27 and 28. The event, which was cohosted by Monmouth College, was the last of the regular season for the Prairie Fire.
Knox opened play at Soangataha Country Club on Friday. Senior Bobby Stuebi fired a 3-over par 75 in the first round, leaving him tied for sixth place individually after the first round. Sophomore James Fenner had the second-lowest score for Knox with a 79, while seniors Jamie Jang and Ben Wetherbee both carded 83. Knox shot a team score of 320 and were within four strokes of the top three.
The Prairie Fire were looking to make a move on day two, but when play moved to Monmouth’s Gibson Woods the team fell farther behind.
Stuebi, Fenner and Jang fired matching rounds of 80 on Saturday. Wetherbee’s second round 89 gave the team a two day total of 649, leaving Knox in ninth place. Stuebi would ultimately finish in the top 10 individually, with Fenner and Jang each placing in the top 20.
For the season, Stuebi leads the team with an average round of 77.5. Fenner and Jange are next at 78.3 and 82.9 respectively.
The Prairie Fire’s next event is the 2012 Midwest Conference Men’s Golf Championships, which begin Thursday, May 3 at Aldeen Golf Course in Rockford, Ill. The three-round tournament concludes on Saturday, May 5.
Jang and Stuebi each tied for fourth place at last year’s tournament, and Knox is looking to at least match last year’s third place team finish.
Knox claimed three consolation titles at the 2012 Midwest Conference Men’s Tennis Championships on April 28, earning a seventh place finish in the team standings.
Seniors Erik Hane and Shaunak Mulani, and freshman Karl Ruzgas each dropped their first match of the tournament, but bounced back with two victories to claim consolation championships and fifth place finishes.
In doubles play Hane and freshman Walter Palmer earned a victory against Illinois College in the number one flight, Ruzgas and Mulani defeated the Blueboys number two doubles team and junior David Ham and freshman Jonathan Ng won a close quarterfinals match in the number three flight against St. Norbert. After claiming these opening round victories, all three teams were unable to advance any further.
The Prairie Fire finished the tournament with 29 points, and after play was finished head coach John Baillie was named Coach of the Year along with Carroll University’s Craig Mours. Knox also claimed the MWC team Sportsmanship Award.
Track and field
Though rain shortened the track and field team’s efforts at the Illinois College True Blue Open on April 28, there was at least one ray of sunshine for the Prairie Fire. Senior Emma Swanson set a new school record in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase, besting the previous best time by over 10 seconds.
Swanson finished the race in 12:47.31, which bested Ellie Dust’s time of 12:57.51 set in 2004.
Knox also got a strong performance from the women’s 4×100 meter relay team. Swanson, seniors Rayann Parkinson and Kristi Weller and sophomore Danielle Erikson placed third in the event.
On the men’s side sophomore Gabe Moreno claimed a first place finish for Knox in the 10,000 meter run. His time of 33:30.10 is the 10th fastest for Knox in the 10K since record-keeping began in 1970. Moreno entered the top 10 for the second time in the event, as he holds the fifth fastest time (33:08.54), which he ran last April at Western Illinois University.
Junior Jacob Buddell was second to Moreno in the 10K, earning the Prairie Fire eight additional points in the event.
At the time the meet was called due to rain the Knox women were placed sixth out of 13 teams with 18 points after nine events, while the men’s team placed sixth out of 12 teams with 25 points after eight events.
Knox makes a short trip for their next event when they head to Monmouth on Saturday, May 5 when the teams take part in the Fighting Scot Invite. The meet is the final regular season meet before the Midwest Conference Championships on May 11 and 12 at St. Norbert College.