Bullets win sixth straight conference championship; Junior Sarah Hansen named Centennial Conference Player of the Year and All-CC First Team
By Claire Healey, Staff Writer
The Gettysburg College women’s golf team captured their sixth straight Centennial Conference championship this past weekend. The Bullets dominated the strong field of contenders with a record low combined score on Sunday, continuing the success of their already impressive season.
Junior Sarah Hansen praised Gettysburg’s performance. Hansen said, “The conference has definitely grown the last two years. This was definitely the most competition we’ve had going into conferences. It was a fantastic opportunity to be a part of this team and we did a great job.”
Gettysburg carded a 334 on Sunday, and finished with a two-day total of 691. That placed them thirty-three strokes ahead of second place finisher McDaniel College (372-352) and forty-one strokes ahead of third place finisher Ursinus College (368-364). The Bullets captured the lead on day one and seemed to never look back.
Leading the charge was Hansen who was able to capture first place individually. Hansen finished day one with a two stroke lead, and only improved her performance on Sunday (82-80). She is Gettysburg’s fifth straight individual winner and was named Centennial Conference Player of the Year.
After her victory Hansen explained her strategy. She said, “Every golfer lives for this moment. I really tried to stay in the present and focus on every shot. I just tried taking it hole-by-hole and playing steady.”
This is also Hansen’s second straight year of being selected to the All-CC First Team.
Defending champion, sophomore Samantha Sessa showed her grit and ability with a third place finish despite feeling under-the-weather throughout the weekend. She posted an eighty-five on Saturday, but was able to power through and drop four strokes for a Sunday eighty-one. Sessa was also named to the All-CC First Team.
Sessa said of her performance, “Definitely not upset about my finish. Not feeling so well and being able to finish top three…I’m pretty happy about that.”
Sophomore Fontaine McFeaters, who finished eighth overall, had one of the most outstanding Sunday performances out of any player at the tournament. After shooting a ninty-five on Saturday, McFeaters came back to tie a career low eighty-two during the final round. She was only two strokes short of finishing in the top five and making the All-CC First Team.
Junior Lynn Hatcher finished fourteenth with a ninety-six on Saturday and a ninety-one on Sunday. In her fourth and final Centennial Conference championships, senior captain Kate Schwartz finished one stroke and one place behind Hatcher with a ninety-five on Saturday and a ninety-three on Sunday.
“It feels great. We’ve definitely worked hard for this. We’ve built an amazing program here at Gettysburg College and we’ve earned every single title we’ve won. We’re going to keep it up and we’re ready to go to nationals,” said Schwartz.
Gettysburg was the only school to have all five players finish within the top fifteen and was one of two schools to have every player improve their score from Saturday to Sunday. Along with incredible play from this year’s team, Gettysburg has shown dominance over the Centennial Conference in the last six seasons. Capturing a sixth straight title pushed Gettysburg ahead of McDaniel in consecutive titles.
Schwartz said, “Everyone hasn’t been up to par in their games with the conditions we’ve had, but I think everyone played great. It was a great day to be a Bullet overall.”
Following their victory at conferences, Gettysburg earned an automatic bid to NCAA Division III championships, which will take place May 10-13 at the Bay Oaks Golf Club in Houston, Texas. The Bullets are looking to improve success at nationals from recent years and continue to work one day at a time at improving overall scores.