2002: College - Methodist women capture 5th straight title

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South Hadley, Mass.

Methodist College continued its dominance of women’s Division III golf by winning its fifth consecutive NCAA Division III Women’s Championship May 17.

The Fayetteville, N.C., school shot a final-round 322 to finish 158-over-par 1,310 and 31 shots ahead of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor of Belton, Texas, at the 5,801-yard, par-72 Orchards Golf Club.

Methodist seniors Leighann Rastede and Angie Wengerd tied for fourth to lead Methodist, which has won every women’s title since the Division II-III championship was separated in 2000 (Methodist won the title in 1998-99 in a combined Division II-III). It was the 13th national title for the Methodist women.

“The excitement of winning it never wears down because it’s a different group of kids,” coach Kim Kincer said. “This group of student-athletes are a special group. They worked well together, they liked each other, they cheered for each other.”

Jessica Hunter was 10th, Michelle Meadows was 11th and Hope Thomas finished 25th for Methodist.

“I didn’t come in here with any preconceived notions,” said Rastede, who was playing in her first national championship. “I wanted to go into it with an open mind and a positive attitude. I just wanted us to go out with a bang, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Rastede did not have the scores to qualify for postseason her first three years at Methodist.

Lynn Thompson, a 44-year-old sophomore from Thomas More College, won individual honors with a four-day 24-over-par 312. Thompson, who competed as an individual, shot 78-80-77-77 to finish seven shots ahead of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Rachele Miller. Thompson entered the NCAA finals as the No. 1-ranked player in Division III with a 76.25 stroke average.

It was the first national title for Thomas More College. This season was the first season for women’s golf at the Crestview Hills, Ky., school.

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