By Heidi Boyum
Montana State University-Northern golf team had to brave freezing, rainy conditions at the Rocky Invitational as they wrapped up the fall leg of their golf season, yet the Skylights smashed six school records and stole second place from University of Montana-Western in Billings this weekend.
Northern led Western by 13 strokes after the first round of play, nine after the second and finished 15 ahead, going on to set new 18, 36, and 54-hole team records. Skylight Toni Bickford also set 18, 36, and 54-hole individual records.
"Some things were said by other schools that really motivated these ladies to make a point," said Skylight coach Chris Handley.
Bickford shot a 76 in her record-breaking performance while Ristina Johnston shot a personal best. Kasey Link's consistancy helped the Skylights go low and Jessica Sande shot her personal best as a Skylight. Theresa Newman obtained her lowest 54-hole score ever including a holed 3rd shot from 100 yards out for an eagle on a par 5.
"We achieved this week one of the goals we set forth for ourselves," said Handley. "...to take second in a tournament."
Second place being a reasonable goal considering top ranked Rocky Mountain College held first by 123 strokes and controlled seven of the top ten individual positions.
"Success breeds success," said Handley. "It helps when you can bring in top golfers every year and (MSU-N) is heading that way. It's not going to happen right away, but our performance this year is definitely going to help me as a recruiting coach."
The MSU-N Skylights currently hold 3rd place in Conference standings and will resume seasonal play in April of 2002.
Team results: 1. Rocky Mountain College, 919; 2. MSU-Northern, 1042; 3. UM-Western, 1057.
Individual results: 1. Sara Hamilton, Rocky, 220; 2. Jill Selman, Rocky, 233; 3. Amber Griffith, Rocky, 234; 4. (tie) Toni Bickford, MSU-Northern/Ashley Griffith, Rocky, 236; 6. Abbie Poll, Rocky, 240; 7. (tie) Lindey Peterson, Rocky/Kelly Hancock, Rocky, 243; 9. Amy Bassett, Westminster, 244; 10. Jennifer Orcutt, Miles Community College, 245.