Not done yet: Florida Tech advances to NCAA Div. II championships

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Not done yet: Florida Tech advances to NCAA Div. II championships

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Not done yet: Florida Tech advances to NCAA Div. II championships

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They’re not done yet.

The Florida Tech Panthers, dropped as a sport by the university in February, have advanced to the NCAA Div. II Women’s Golf Championships.

The Panthers finished fourth in the South Region and with only the top four advancing, Florida Tech is moving on.

“I believe the feeling is mutual within all of us but I can’t begin to explain my emotions and how proud of them for their continued pride in what they do for the university despite the university cutting them at seasons end,” said head coach Chris Saltmarsh. “They are certainly making the most of it.”

“Ecstatic to qualify for the national champs, but it’s a bittersweet feeling to know that the first time Florida Tech competes at nationals will also be the last,” said Lauren Watson, a junior from Scotland completing her third year with the program.

Lynn won the regional at +20, Limestone College was second at +26, Barry University, the Div. II top-ranked team by the Womens Golf Coaches Association, finished third at +28.

Florida Tech, despite going +11 during Wednesday’s final round, finished +35, two shots ahead of Nova Southeastern.

In February, when announcing that women’s golf was being cut, along with men’s and women’s tennis, Florida Tech Athletic Director Bill Jurgens said that the university considered many factors in deciding which varsity sports would be discontinued, including the state of available facilities, squad size and potential to be competitive.

“Having our program cut was a direct hit, yet it has brought us together as a team,” Florida Tech senior Paola Ortiz said. “We’ve learned to appreciate each other more and this has given an extra motivation to the team to prove everybody wrong. Florida Tech women’s golf team is very competitive, it has always been. It wasn’t until now that the team came together stronger than ever to achieve a common goal.”

“Being part of the first and also last women’s golf team that goes to nationals feels amazing, but it’s also making me very said to say goodbye to my second family,” said sophomore Noelle Beijer. “It’s good to make more good memories with them, now we still can and make our last season as long as it possibly can be.”

Florida Tech is one of 16 schools to advance.

The NCAA Div. II Women’s Golf Championships are May 14-18 at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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