PANORA - The NIACC men's golf team is headed to the national tournament.
NIACC placed third at the NJCAA Region XI tournament on Sunday with a 309- 315 - 624 to punch its ticket to the NJCAA Division II national tournament, which is set for May 21-24 in Foley, Ala.
It is the first time since 2011 that the NIACC men's golf team has qualified for the national tournament. The Trojans won the regional tournament in Fort Dodge in 2011.
"It's pretty awesome," NIACC coach Chris Frenz said. "It's one of those things that I always knew that this team had what it took to get to nationals.
"I knew we were tough enough. I knew we were good enough. We just hadn't clicked on all cylinders in the fall or the spring and we picked a great time to click."
Josh Schaefer (Denver) and Ben Boerjan (St. Ansgar) led the Trojans with a 74-77 - 151s. Also for the Trojans, Devin Koob (Plainfield) shot a 78-77 - 155, Jordan Voves (Cresco) shot a 83-84 - 167 and Anthony Emanuel (Calmar) shot a 89-85 - 174.
The 151s by Schaefer and Boerjan tied for the lowest 36-hole total at the regional tournament in the Chris Frenz era, which began in 2007.
Frenz said the 2018 team is similiar to the 2011 team that also qualified for the national tournament. The 2011 team was made up of all Iowans in Max Rohlfsen (Newman Catholic), Kade Jones (Garner-Hayfield), Adam Brinkman (Clear Lake), Brandon Wood (Rockford) and Harrison Webb (Clear Lake).
"Just like in 2011, it's all local (Iowa kids)," Frenz said. "They were all pretty loose Saturday night. We went out to eat and then came back (to the course) to chip and putt a little bit.
"They were very loose (Sunday) morning yet focused. We knew that there were two or three teams that had a chance to catch us."
Kirkwood won the regional with a two-day total of 300-301 - 601 and DMACC was second with a 299-314 - 613.
NIACC was in third place after the first day with a 309 and the Trojans held their position with a second-day 315.
Frenz said the key to the successful two days at the Lake Panorama Golf Course was simple.
"100 percent focus," the 12th year coach said. "They all did an excellent job of course management."
Team standings - Kirkwood 601, DMACC 613, NIACC 624, Southwestern 624, Iowa Lakes 632, Southeastern 648, Iowa Central 654, Northeast CC 664.
NIACC MEN'S LOWEST REGION 36-HOLE ROUNDS UNDER FRENZ
Jacob Urdahl (2013) 78-73 - 151
Josh Schaefer (2018) 74-77 - 151
Ben Boerjan (2018) 74-77 - 151
Dalton Olson (2013) 74-82 - 152
Levi Fink (2014) 76-77 - 153
Sam Steinwand (2015) 75-78 - 153
Nate Haaland (2009) 76-79 - 155
Steven Wyborny (2009) 77-78 - 155
Max Rohlfsen (2010) 74-81 - 155
Devin Koob (2018) 78-77 - 155
NIACC MEN'S LOWEST REGIONAL 36-HOLE TEAM SCORES UNDER FRENZ