Zajicek leads Whitman women to school history

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LACEY, Wash. - Katie Zajicek and her teammates made some school history on Sunday as Whitman College captured its first-ever individual and team victories at one of the three primary Northwest Conference golf tournaments.

Zajicek, a first-year golfer, shot her second consecutive 79 to claim medalist honors with a 36-hole total of 158 at The Links at Hawks Prairie in Lacey, Wash.

As a team, Whitman posted Sunday's low score at 337 (top four golfers) to take first in the team scoring with a 36-hole score of 679, edging George Fox by one stroke.

George Fox held a one-shot lead over Whitman after Saturday's opening round, and the Bruins were still up by a single shot as play finished on Sunday.

Soon after the second round was completed, however, one of the George Fox golfers were disqualified, which had a net effect of adding two shots to the Bruins team score.

Whitworth finished in third place in the team scoring with a 364-354 718 total. Other team scores were Pacific 372-353 725, Linfield 381-352 733, Puget Sound 389-383 196, and Pacific Lutheran 421-383 804. Willamette and Lewis & Clark did not compete.

In winning individual honors, Zajicek beat her nearest competitor (Pacific's Valerie Kitamori) by six strokes.

"This weekend was a truly unbelievable performance by Katie," Whitman assistant coach Steve Campbell said.

"She earned it with her cool, calm and collected play. She is such a solid player."

Her teammates were just as steady on Sunday.

Sophomore Caitlin Holland followed her 85 on Saturday with a second-round 86 to place seventh at 171.

Catelyn Webber, another of Whitman's first-year players, shot her second consecutive 88 to place 11th with a 176 total.

Sophomore Tate Head carded an 89 on Sunday, shaving a stroke off her first-round score, to finish at 179 as part of a three-way tie for 14th.

That tie included one of her first-year teammates, Elaine Whaley, who rebounded from a 95 in Saturday's windstrom to shoot 84 on Sunday.

"I'm extremely proud of our women," Campbell said. "They toughed it out the past two days, and they were solid all day today.

"I couldn't be more proud, in fact. They put themselves in a position to win at the end."

It was "unfortunate" that one of the George Fox players was disqualified, Campbell added. "You never want to see that."

The Spring Classic, along with last October's Fall Classic, count for one-half of the scoring for the final NWC standings.

By winning the Spring Classic, after placing fourth at the fall tournament, Whitman moved into a second-place tie with Whitworth. Both schools have 11 points.George Fox, which won the fall tournament, is in first with 13 points.

The regular season ends with the 36-hole NWC Championship tournament, slated for April 22-23 at Columbia Point in Richland. That final tournament counts for the remaining one-half of final point totals.

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