VICTORIA – Riding the momentum of capturing a tournament title in their last competitive action, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s golf team used solid scores throughout their lineup to sit in second-place after Day 1 of the Battle at Primm, in Primm Nev., on March 19.

The Vikes men, who played two rounds on the first day of tournament action, rebounded from a rocky round one to claw their way into a tie for eighth after their first day of competition


Cadence Hellmann and Hannah Diamond each had a great start to the tournament for the Vikes women, shooting identical rounds of 74, good enough to tie them for second-place individually.

“Hannah had a personal best as a Vike with five birdies today en route to her 74,” said Vikes head coach Justin Clews. “Cadence continued her strong play this season, showing she is a great leader for the women’s team.”

Melanie Murchison and Nicole Gargarella each sit in a tie for 13th after solid rounds of 79, while Quinn Fitzgerald rounds out the Vikes scorers in 30th place.

Overall the Vikes score of 306 on a course that is playing long and wide was good enough to send them into the second day of competition with some highly-ranked teams in their rear-view mirror.

They are five shots clear of the No. 5 team in the NAIA from Texas Wesleyan, eight shots ahead of No. 10 ranked Embry-Riddle and ten strokes in front of No. 11 Rocky Mountain College.

With one round left to play the Vikes trail only the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds by two strokes.

“Really proud of the women’s play today,” said Clews. “They can make a really strong statement in the rankings with a good performance tomorrow and they are really looking forward to that opportunity.”

On the men’s side, an opening round of 285 was followed up with an improved score of 280 in their afternoon round.

“Despite an afternoon round with a five shot improvement from the morning, we left a lot out there,” said Clews. “The lakes course here at Primm Valley GC is playing very score-able. I think this is a good wake-up call for our men’s team in a strong field composing of eight of the top-10 NAIA teams.”

Lawren Rowe and Mike Griffin had identical opening days, shooting rounds of 72 and 69 to sit in a tie for 28th.

Jacob Hayes is just one stroke behind that pair after rounds of 68 and 74, while Bruce Tomie and Josh Miller round out the scoring with tallies of 143 and 146 respectively.

As a team the Vikes will need some help to make a big move on the second day of competition, they sit seven shots behind Johnson & Wales University in the battle for seventh-place.

“We need to play better tomorrow and gain at least a spot or 2 to help boost our NAIA ranking,” said Clews. “Pin placements will be trickier tomorrow but we still need to post some sort of team score under par tomorrow to make a move.”

Women’s Results
2nd – VICTORIA (306)
T2 – Cadence Hellmann (74) +2
T2 – Hannah Diamond (74) +2
T13 – Melanie Murchison (79) +7
T13 – Nicole Gargarella (79) +7
T30 – Quinn Fitzgerald (84) +12

Men’s Results
T8th – VICTORIA (285-280 : 565)
T28 – Lawren Rowe (72-69 : 141) +1
T28  – Mike Griffin (72-69 : 141) +1
T34 – Jacob Hayes (68-74 : 142) +2
T40 – Bruce Tomie (74-69 : 143) +3
T54 – Josh Miller (73-73 : 146) +6