Breezy Point, Minn. / Pequot Lakes
The Bethel women's golf team and Erika Schwalbe (Breezy Point, Minn./Pequot Lakes) certainly know how to end on a high note. The Royals claimed first place at Saturday's Macalester Spring Invitational, held at Emerald Greens Golf Course in Hastings, Minn., led by an incredible round from Schwalbe. The sophomore carded the lowest round in program history to earn medalist honors, while leading Bethel to its lowest 18-hole team score in school history as well. For her record-breaking performance, Schwalbe was named the MIAC Women's Golf Athlete-of-the-Week.
Schwalbe's school record score of 78 helped her win the Macalester Spring Invitational by a single stroke over the runner-up. In all, Schwalbe bested a field of 29 players, as all five teams in the field - Bethel, St. Catherine, Augsburg, Macalester and Saint Mary's - compete in the MIAC. Her score is the new 18-hole standard in school history, as was the team's winning score of 320. The Royals won by 11 strokes over runner-up St. Catherine. This season, Schwalbe's scoring average of 84.7 shots per round ranked third on the team, and in the MIAC's top 25.
Bethel's school-record score and first-place finish came in the team's final tournament appearance of the season. The Royals won two tournaments this season, and finished in the top five in seven of its nine tournaments, including six-straight top-five finishes to close out the season. Bethel finished fifth out of 11 teams at the 2013 MIAC Women's Golf Championships last October, and will hope to build on its late-season success in 2014-15.