Nova Southeastern successfully defended its title at the Division II National Championship Saturday, blowing away fellow Sunshine State Conference powerhouse Rollins College by 40 shots. It’s the second national title for the Sharks in program history.
Nova Southeastern, fresh off wins at the SSC championship and South Regional, jumped out to an immediate lead with a 10-over 298 in Round 1 before posting a 3-under 285 in Round 2, the lowest 18-hole score of any team during the tournament. The Sharks remained consistent in the final two rounds, finishing at 44-over 1,180 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.. With the win, Nova Southeastern secured its ninth victory of the 2009-10 season.
Rollins College came in second at 84-over 1,220 with Florida Southern another shot back. Prior to last year’s win by Nova Southeastern, either Rollins or Florida Southern had won the past nine national championships.
Nova Southeastern also claimed the individual medalist in junior Sandra Changkija, who was at even-par 284. Changkija beat Maria Luz Besio, of Newberry College, by six shots as Besio faltered coming in Saturday. Playing as an individual, Besio shot rounds of 68-69 mid-week, but closed with an 11-over 82.
Rollins College’s Joanna Coe, who won the individual title in 2008, was third at 11-over 295.
Nova Southeastern had two other players finish inside the top 10: Maria Garcia Austt (T-4) and Nicole Whitmore (T-7). Abby Gittings was T-16 while Taylor Collins was T-21. Gittings, a freshman, was the only player in the Sharks’ lineup not on last year’s national championship team.