2002: Kraschinski, Arizona shine in Fall Preview
By Lisa Antonucci
West Lafayette, Ind.
For Arizona sophomore Miriam Kraschinski, summer meant a nice, long break. While many collegiate golfers took advantage of the amateur season, the 19-year-old New Zealand native headed home for more than two months of quality family time.
The respite undoubtedly did her good, as Kraschinski surged to a commanding victory at the women’s Fall Preview Sept. 17 at Purdue’s Kampen Course. Kraschinski finished at 1-under-par 215 for the 54-hole event, beating Pepperdine’s Katherine Hull and Vanderbilt’s Sarah Jacobs by four shots.
Her score boosted the Wildcats to the team title as well. Arizona, ranked No. 10 in the preseason after losing star Lorena Ochoa to the professional ranks, defeated Oklahoma State by three shots.
“I hadn’t been home for longer than three weeks in the last four years,” said Kraschinski, the second of four siblings that includes older sister Julia (a senior on the Arizona team) and two younger brothers.
Although she spends lots of time with Julia at school, Kraschinski felt she was missing out on some of the “wonder years” with brothers Alex, 13, and Fred, 11, who are at home in Whitianga.
As temperatures heated up in the States, Kraschinski cooled her heels on the other side of the globe, where fall was fading into winter. She made regular use of her home course – the nine-hole Mataranga Golf Course (“There are two pins on each green – it’s really nice,” she said) – but she spent more time at the soccer fields watching her brothers play.
“It was great,” she said, smiling at the mention of her mother’s cooking. “By the end, I was actually looking forward to coming back (to Arizona). I’m not sure I would have felt the same if I had stayed here all summer.”
Kraschinski, who didn’t break the top 100 in last year’s final Golfweek/ Sagarin Performance Index, was tied for 25th after shooting 3-over 75 in the first round. She shot the low score of the second round, a 2-under 70, to move into a tie for third. She then finished with another 70 to capture her first college trophy.
“I have goose bumps,” said Arizona coach Greg Allen, holding out his forearm for all to see. “This is a team that believes in each other. Each one knows how well they can play, and I have three players at home that are just as good. They really push each other and I think that’s what happened this week.”
The Fall Preview also was a coming-out party for Oklahoma State, ranked No. 7 in the preseason. The Cowgirls held the lead through two rounds, shooting even par (288) the first day and 306 the second. They held a one-shot lead over Vanderbilt at the start of the final round and increased it to four through 14 holes, but faltered coming down the stretch to finish 10 over for the day. Arizona posted its best round the final day with a 292.
“I think we leave this golf course a better team, and that was our goal,” said Oklahoma State coach Amy Weeks. “Obviously, we want to win, and this team came out today to win this tournament. It didn’t happen, but we’re going to find the positives in this week and be better players next week and next semester.”