The Chadron State College golf team heads to Phoenix this weekend, where the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference hosts its annual championship tournament from Sunday through Tuesday at Wigwam Golf Resort.
Twelve women’s teams will square off in a three-round tourney format, with each round on a separate day. The winner of the RMAC Championship determines the conference’s automatic qualifier in the NCAA West Regional at Dallas Baptist University from May 3-5.
The Eagles played Wigwam only six weeks ago, when they were in the Phoenix area for an event dubbed the SMSU Spring Invitational. In that meet, CSC was third of the five RMAC teams who entered, and they were fourth overall out of eight participants. The Eagles improved 12 strokes on the second day of play to finish with a total of 654 over two rounds.
The RMAC Championships were last held at the course in 2014, when Colorado State University-Pueblo won the title in a two-round format, scoring 621. CSC was 10th out of 10 teams, shooting 744.
Picked by the league’s coaches to finish eighth in a preseason poll, the Eagles are now regarded by GolfStat.com as the sixth strongest team in the conference, out of 12.
CSC is led by sophomore Alpine Hickstein, who earlier this season set new program records with a low round of 70 and a low tournament score of 150. Hickstein has won two events individually this season, and she helped the team to a title at Black HIlls State University in the fall.
Coming on strong in the spring semester is freshman Kenzey Kanno, who led the Eagles at the SMSU Spring Invitational and the RJGA Palm Valley Classic, where the program’s low round record fell by six strokes and the low tourney record fell by 20.
The RMAC Championship was not held in 2020, but in CSC’s 2019 performance in Phoenix, the squad carded a 987 in three rounds to tie for ninth. CSU-Pueblo is the defending champion from 2019, with a total of 895. Colorado Mesa University is currently the highest-ranked among the RMAC teams, at 41st nationally.
Tee times are set for just after noon on Sunday.