Spartans win fifth consecutive Region XIII and MCAC Championships
July 12, 2016
Spartan golf coach Jason Retzlaff has announced that golfers Nick Kress of North Branch and Will Tickel of Hawley have committed to competing for Minnesota State Community and Technical College.
Kress, a four-time all-conference golfer and a graduate of North Branch High School, competed at the varsity level as a seventh grader and earned all-conference honorable mention as an eighth grader.
Tickel, a graduate of Hawley High School, earned all-conference honors three times and shot a low round of 70 during his high school career.
"Will and Nick are both great additions to our golf program," Retzlaff said. "After seeing both of them play, they strike the ball very well, they play smart and they have a calm demeanor on the course that serves them well. It will be fantastic to get them in Spartan blue."
M State's golf team finished third at the NJCAA Division III National Golf Championship in June and has finished in the top five nationally for five consecutive years.
June 11, 2016
With their third place finish in the 2016 NJCAA National Championship at Chautauqua, N.Y., on Friday, the M State Spartan golf team has now finished in the top five nationally for the fifth consecutive year.
The Spartans shot a final round of 301 on June 10 for a tournament total of 1219, behind first-place finisher Vincennes University (1198) and second-place Georgia Northwestern Tech (1213).
Chris Swenson (7th place individually) and Ryan Ames (9th place individually) both earned 2nd team All American honors.
On Friday, the last round of the four-day tournament, Levi Soydara tied his low round of the year with a 75, and all five of the Spartan scores were 78 or under.
"What an incredible season it was for an outstanding group of young men. They played national champion caliber golf all season long. Unfortunately there were two teams that played better than we did this week. They fought hard all four days on a course that has as difficult greens as you will find, and to finish third in the nation is a great accomplishment," said Spartan coach Jason Retzlaff. "Not only has this team broken numerous records on the golf course, they have also done a wonderful job representing our college off the course and in the classroom. It truly is a privilege to coach this group of young men.
"Chris Swenson and Ryan Ames both had outstanding tournaments. They are two special golf talents who have led us all season long. It's pretty cool to now be able to call them All-Americans.
"Levi Soydara had a great round today that had the potential to be even lower. It took a lot of toughness to bounce back after a tough round (Thursday) and finish off the year in such a great fashion.
"Joey Manthis and Frank Lundquist have had a great run the last two years, playing at this tournament twice. Joey, along with Chris and Ryan, are some of the best players we have had in our program. Frank has been one of the most clutch players we have had, including some great performances in the region tournament. They have really left their mark on Spartan golf."
The Spartans finished the season with a team scoring average of 303.7, breaking the previous school record set in 2013-14 by nearly nine shots.
M State individual place and four-day results:
7. Chris Swenson 300 (77-75-71-77) - 2nd team All-American
9. Ryan Ames 302 (78-78-73-73) - 2nd team All-American
20. Joey Manthis 310 (77-81-76-76)
T27. Frank Lundquist 315 (77-80-80-78)
T49. Levi Soydara 324 (85-76-88-75)
M State has now finished in the top five nationally for the fifth consecutive year: first in 2012, fourth in 2013, fifth in 2014, fourth in 2014 and third in 2016.
June 10, 2016
The M State Spartans remained in 2nd place Thursday after the third round of play in the NJCAA Division III National Championship at Chatauqua Golf Club in Chatauqua, N.Y.
The Spartans shot 300 and remain one shot ahead of Georgia Northwestern (298). Vincennes University shot 293 to extend its lead going into the final round Friday.
(image right: Chris Swenson, who leads the Spartans and is in 6th place overall, putts on hole 16 during the third round of the national championship Thursday.)
Chris Swenson led M State with an under-par round of 71. He currently stands in 6th place overall, four shots behind the individual leader.
"We played well today in what was a display of great golf among the three teams playing together in our group. We got off to a good start and, while we didn't putt great, we improved on the greens today. Chris Swenson had a great round shooting under par. As he usually does, he pulls off some shots that most players aren't capable of hitting," Spartan coach Jason Retzlaff said. "Ryan Ames also played well, bouncing back after a tough few days. He didn't have his best stuff but still found a way to put up a great round of 73. Joey Manthis was also very steady, shooting even par on the 2nd nine.
"It was great to be paired with Vincennes and Georgia Northwestern, as the caliber of the play in our grouping was outstanding. Credit has to be given to Vincennes for shooting the low team round of the tournament and building up their lead. This has been an incredible team to be able to coach, and we are going to enjoy the moment of playing in the final groupings of the national championship tomorrow. Hopefully the guys have one more special round in them."
M State's individual results Thursday:
Chris Swenson 71 (-1)
Ryan Ames 73
Joey Manthis 76
Frank Lundquist 80
Levi Soydara 88
M State three-day totals:
6. Chris Swenson 223 (75-77-71)
13. Ryan Ames 229 (78-78-73)
T17. Joey Manthis 234 (77-81-76)
T24. Frank Lundquist 237 (77-80-80)
T57. Levi Soydara 249 (85-76-88)
June 9, 2016
The M State Spartans moved into second place Wednesday during the second round of the 2016 NJCAA Division III National Championship Tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, N.Y.
The Spartans, led by Levi Soydara with a 76, shot 311 on a cold and windy day. It was the second-best round of the day, behind tournament leader Vincennes University of Indiana (302).
"It was truly a grind today. It was one of those days where it felt like we struggled, but it was a better score than we thought after seeing the other teams post scores," Spartan coach Jason Retzlaff said. "Levi Soydara played an outstanding round of golf. He really led us today and was in great control of his game. Vincennes shot a great round and has an outstanding golf program. It will be a great challenge and a lot fun to compete with them and Georgia Northwestern tomorrow.
"If we can start getting the putts to fall we are certainly capable of putting up two great scores on Thursday and Friday."
The Spartan individual scores for the first two days of the four-day tournament are:
9. Chris Swenson 152 (75-77)
T15. Ryan Ames 156 (78-78)
T20. Frank Lundquist 157 (77-80)
T24. Joey Manthis 158 (77-81)
T35. Levi Soydara 161 (85-76)
Here are the team results following the second day of the tournament:
1. Vincennes University 605 (303 (Day 1)- 302 (Day 2))
2. M State 618 (307-311)
3. Georgia Northwestern Tech 621 (306-315)
4. Jamestown CC 628 (307-321)
5. Madison College 636 (314-322)
6. Monroe CC 641 (324-317)
7. Sandhills CC 648 (327-321)
8. Anne Arundel CC 653 (327-326)
9. Nassau CC 362 (319-343)
10. Bucks County CC 678 (339-339)
11. CC of Rhode Island 685 (337-348)
12. Camden County CC 687 (341-346)
June 8, 2016
The M State golf team shot a 307 in the first round of the NJCAA Division III National Golf Championship on Tuesday at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, N.Y., four shots behind Vincennes University of Indiana.
Georgia Northwest Tech is second with a 306, and the Spartans were tied for third place with the host school, Jamestown Community College of New York, after the first day of competition.
Chris Swenson led the Spartans with a 75, which tied him for 11th place overall.
"It was a solid start that puts us right in the mix. For the most part we were pretty steady throughout, but we can certainly play better. I was happy with our players' patience on a day with tough conditions," Spartan coach Jason Retzlaff said. "The key is to be better on the greens, as they are extremely difficult at Chautauqua. Chris Swenson and Joey Manthis had nice days, and I thought Frank Lundquist played very well.
"Our goal is to put ourselves in position to win a championship on Friday morning, and today was a nice start."
The Spartan individual scores were:
Chris Swenson 75 (T-11th)
Frank Lundquist 77 (T-15th)
Joey Manthis 77 (T-15th)
Ryan Ames 78 (T-20th)
Levi Soydara 85 (T-67th)
Erik Hansen of Southwest Technical College (Wis.) and Ross Moore of Nassau CC (N.Y.) had the low individual rounds of the day at 71 (-1).
Here are team results following the first day of competition: 1. Vincennes University (Ind.) 303 2. Georgia Northwest Tech (Ga.) 306 T3. M State (Minn.) 307 T3. Jamestown CC (N.Y.) 307 5. Madison College (Wis.) 307 6. Nassau (N.Y.) 319 7. Monroe CC (N.Y.) 324 T8. Anne Arundel CC (Md.) 327 T8. Sandhills CC (N.C.) 327 10. CC of Rhode Island (R.I.) 337 11. Bucks County CC (Penn.) 339 12. Camden County College (N.J.) 341
The Minnesota State Community and Technical College golf team competes in the NJCAA Division III National Championship in Chautauqua, N.Y., on June 7-10.
It will be the fifth consecutive appearance for the Spartan golfers, who have finished in the top five in the last four years and won the national championship in 2012.
The Spartans earned a berth in the national tournament by running away with the Region XIII and MCAC championship in October, defeating runner-up Southwest Tech by 39 strokes. Spartan Chris Swenson earned medalist honors for both the Region XIII and the MCAC, the first Spartan golfer to win the title as a freshman.
Check back here to follow the Spartans at the national tournament!
2015 Spartan Golf Team
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Jason Retzlaff (left) and Jeff Haukos
May 5, 2016
For the fifth year in a row, Spartan golf coach Jason Retzlaff has been named Coach of the Year by the Minnesota College Athletic Association and Region XIII.
Retzlaff's award follows his team's 4th place finish in the NJCAA National Championship in June 2015. Spartan golfers also won the MCAC and Region XIII titles in the fall of 2015 and will compete again in the national championship in New York in June.
Retzlaff is in his 12th season as head golf coach at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, where he is also an instructor and co-athletic director.
In receiving the award, Retzlaff commended Jeff Haukos for his work as volunteer assistant coach for the Spartan golf team over the past 11 years.
"What a great job he's done," Retzlaff said. "I'd like to recognize Jeff, too."
The M State Spartans claimed fourth place, only six shots behind champion Vincennes University, in the 2013 National Junior College Athletic Association Division III tournament in Chataugua, N.Y.
The Spartans' Brandon Sletmoen received first-team All-American honors with a three-day score of 224 and a Top 5 finish. Lucas Gervais finished in the Top 7 and was awarded second-team All-American honors.
The Spartans, coached by Jason Retzlaff, finished only two shots out of second place in the tournament and one shot out of third. The M State golfers were returning to the tournament as defending national champions after claiming first place in 2012.
"I'm very proud of our team and the tremendous season we had," Retzlaff said. "Our guys have great team chemistry, and we had incredible support from family and friends who traveled to New York to cheer us on."
The tournament ends the Spartan careers of Gervais and teammate Taylor Shuck, who led the team to a national championship, two regional and conference titles and this year's fourth place national tournament finish.
The M State Spartan golfers became national champions by winning the 2012 National Junior College Athletic Association Division III tournament at Chautaugua Golf Club in Chautaugua, N.Y. The tournament wrapped up Friday, June 8, with the Spartans shooting a four-day total of 1,224, 18 strokes under second-place Jamestown Community College of New York.
M State's Lucas Gervais finished fourth in the tournament with a four-round score of 298, 10 strokes over the first-place winner. His Spartan teammates were Taylor Shuck (10th), Mitch Thorsen (16th), Alex Miller (tied for 34th) and Tyler Brackey (tied for 38th).
Gervais was named First Team All-American, and Shuck won Second Team All-American recognition. M State Coach Jason Retzlaff was named Coach of the Tournament.
"What an incredible week for an outstanding group of young men," said Retzlaff. "They played with such great poise for all four days. We had confidence that, if we played well, the championship was within our reach, and the guys went out and got it. It was a true team effort."
Last modified: July 12th, 2016 at 08:07am