MISSOULA, Mont. - The Lewis-Clark State College men's golf team moved a step closer to qualifying for the NAIA national tournament at the Frontier Conference Tournament on Monday, but despite shooting one of its best scores of the season, the Warrior women's team saw its season come to a close.
The Warrior men, the top seed in the men's tournament, received a first-round bye and then defeated Westminster in the semifinals to move into Tuesday's 36-hole match against Carroll for the championship. The winner will receive an automatic berth to the national tournament in late May.
The LCSC women, seeded third, defeated No. 6 seed Montana State Northern handily in the opening round. LCSC shot a team score of 329, while MSU-Northern's score was unavailable. In the semifinals, LCSC gave No. 2 seed Rocky Mountain a good scare before falling 322-328.
LCSC coach Paul Thompson said the Larchmont Golf Course was in good shape, but playing conditions were cold, windy and sometimes rainy on Monday. Despite the weather, the Warrior men shot a team score of 3-under-par 285, the best score of the day.
Kyler Gable, a junior from Hayden, Idaho, led the Warriors with a 69, followed by the FC's Freshman of the Year Drew Reinland with a 71. Connor McCracken, who won his third straight Player of the Year title in the conference, matched par with a 72, while Tyler Johnson had a 73 and Jason Molner finished with a 74.
Carroll, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 3 seed Rocky Mountain in the other semifinal.
On the women's side, Idah Whisenant of Lewiston led the Warriors with a pair of 79s, while Kelsey Haycock and Brooke Dagner had 82s and 83s, respectively. Whisenant and Dagner are both freshmen, while Haycock is a sophomore.
Senior Alana Norris shot 85 against MSU-Northern and 87 against Rocky, while sophomore Shanna Herman had a 93 against Northern and an 84 against Rocky.
On the top four scores are used to determine the team score in each round. The seedings for the tournament were based on the regular-season standings from the three conference tournaments.
The men's national tournament will be May 24-27 at Silvis, Ill.