WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - After an interruption due to hazardous weather conditions, the Mississippi State men's golf team has concluded play at the 111th NCAA Men's golf championship. The Bulldogs shot a team score of 935 at the par 72 Kampen Golf Course in West Lafayette, Ind. It was MSU's third appearance all-time at the NCAA Championship and their first since 2000.
"We did not finish it off like we wanted to but overall it has been a good year," said Head Coach Clay Homan. "We accomplished a lot of things that have never been done before here at Mississippi State and now we know the level of golf we need to be at for next year so when we return to nationals we will be better prepared."
The Bulldogs were led by junior Carlos Sainz, Jr. for the third time this season. Sainz tied senior Josh Oller for the lowest round of the tournament with a 1-over-par 73 in round three to contribute to his 229 overall score and a 55th place finish. Sainz also led MState in birdies with eight. Junior Noah Goldman notched his lowest round of the week in round three 80, finishing three strokes behind Sainz at 16-over-par. Goldman also conjured the team's only eagle of the tournament on the par 4 hole nine in round two. Junior Matt Fast improved from his opening round 84, to post scores of 74 and 75 in rounds two and three. Oller had the 1-over-par second round showing to boost his three-round score to 242. Junior Josh Bevell finished four strokes behind Oller through the 54-hole event.
"Carlos (Sainz, Jr.) and Matt (Fast) both played exceptionally well in the final round, but all of the guys played well at times through the tournament," said Homan.
MSU closes the book on an impressive 2008 season with their first post season appearance in the Clay Homan-era, their highest finish in the SEC since 2000 at 5th, and tournament championship (Roadrunner Intercollegiate) and dual match championship (Magnolia Cup, again in-state rival Mississippi). The Bulldogs also found their way into the school record books tying the lowest round in school history (273-Magnolia Cup), notching the second lowest three-round score in school history (842-Gator Invitational).
The Bulldog individual have found success individually with Goldman winning two tournament championships (Roadrunner Intercollegiate-Magnolia Cup), SEC Golfer of the Week and being named to the GCAA All-Region team. Also, aside from first-year players, 23 career-highs have been set this past season among the Bulldog golfers.
MState loses two seniors, Oller a Brandon, Miss.-native and Jake Lambert of Jackson, Miss. The Bulldogs will return seven golfers with tournament play experience for the 2008-09 season.
Track & Field
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mississippi State seniors Jamil Hubbard (400-meter dash) and Golden Coachman (800-meter run) and the men's 4x400-meter relay claimed event titles on the final day of the 2008 NCAA Mideast Track and Field Regional at John McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus. In all, five individuals and the men's 4x4 advanced to the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 11-14 in Des Moines, Iowa.
"We couldn't have had a better meet," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "We're going to the national meet with a lot of power. We're setup to have a top 10 finish there. I'm so pleased with today, though. The women were top 20 and Marrissa (Harris) set a school record once again.
"We have two Mideast Regional champions in Golden and Jamil. It's been a magical season for both Jamil and Marrissa."
The day's final event, the men's 4x400-meter relay, saw the Bulldogs trade the lead with SEC rival Kentucky through the first three legs and Hubbard capitalized on Kentucky's misfortune of a dropped baton to take the lead in the final leg as MSU won in 3 minutes, 5.62 seconds.
Hubbard followed his SEC championship in the 400-meter dash by winning the regional title in 45.72. Freshman O'Neal Wilder placed second in 46.20. In the next men's event, senior Golden Coachman edged Elkana Kosgei from LSU to win the meet title in 1:48.07. Senior Chris Woods took fourth in 1:48.54.
State's men scored a total of 48 points to finish sixth, the Bulldogs' highest finish ever at the meet.
Harris narrowly missed automatically qualifying for the national meet in the 100-meter hurdles. She finished sixth, running 13.05 and breaking her school record for the second consecutive day and fifth time this season. She qualified for the national meet in the heptathlon at the SEC Championships and in the long jump on Friday.
State's 4x100-meter relay team of Kendall May, Wilder, Hubbard and Mayers ran 40.89 to finish seventh. The team will await the selection of at-large bids for the national meet. The Bulldogs' season-best in the event was 39.42 run at the SEC Championships.
In the women's 4x100-meter relay, MSU's team of LaQuinta Aaron, Harris, Bridgett Rose and Priscilla Gaines ran 45.30 to finish fifth. Overall, the women scored the second-most points in school history at the regional meet, finishing 18th with 13.
May ran a personal-best 10.24 in the 100-meter dash to finish seventh. He will also await word on an at-large bid to the national meet. Freshman Emmanuel Mayers scored for the Bulldogs in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing eighth in 52.22.
All of MSU's athletes competing on Saturday earned USTFCCCA all-Region honors.