By John Manley
Brian Murtagh completely dominated the Chicagoland Collegiate Conference Championship tournament at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. The Galway senior who tees the ball up for Cardinal Stritch University combined rounds of 66, 71 and 63 to finish 11 strokes ahead of his nearest pursuer. He finished 13 strokes under par for 54 holes and led Stritch to the team title by 47 strokes. Auspiciously for Stritch, the NAIA National Tournament will be held on the very same course beginning May 15.
The men’s golf champions.
Among those Murtagh and Stritch will have to contend with in two weeks’ time is Texas Wesleyan and Rowan Lester, the reigning team and individual champions. TWU has some work to do, however, if they’re going to hold onto their title, as they finished third in the Sooner Athletic Conference Championship at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City. Lester, a Dublin sophomore, tied for fifth place at 1-under-par 215 (73-71-71). That put him just three strokes behind medalist Paul Zwanzig of Wayland Baptist.
Three straight rounds of 75 by Oakland University’s Marc Norton were good enough for joint-seventh in the Horizon League Championship at the Mission Inn in Howie-In-The-Hills, Fla. The Belfast junior finished the event 12 strokes over par and 13 behind Northern Kentucky’s Jacob Poore, the only golfer to break par for 54 holes.
Keith Murphy of South Carolina-Beaufort got 12th place in the Sun Conference Championship event at Plantation Preserve Golf Club in Plantation, Fla. Murphy, a Dublin senior, signed to rounds of 74, 73 and 71 as Beaufort eked out the team victory by a stroke over Keiser University. Murphy finished the event two strokes over par and nine behind Coastal Georgia’s Mark David Johnson.
Stephen Watts was low man for Toledo in the Mid-American Conference Championship at Sycamore Hills in Fort Wayne, Ind. Watts, a senior from Larne, Co. Antrim, posted rounds of 74, 75 and 77, leaving him 15 strokes over par for the event and eight off the winning number shot by Kent State’s Ian Holt. His 303 was good for a share of 10th place.
Olivia Mehaffey of Arizona State shot 2-under-par 214 (69-74-71) to earn a share of fifth place in the Pacific 12 Conference Championship at Broadmoor in Seattle. She finished six strokes behind the UCLA tandem of Lilia Vu and Patty Tavatanakit, the co-medal winners.
TRACK & FIELD
Robert Tully anchored Tulsa’s winning entry in the Men’s Distance Medley Jim Wheelock University race at the Tulsa Relays. The Dublin junior stopped the clock at 9:42.75, with Iowa State in close pursuit in 9:42.95. Tulsa’s Peter Lynch, a freshman from Kilkenny, got third place in the men’s 10,000 meters. At 30:40.25, he was the top collegian in a race won by John Mascari, running unaffiliated, who broke the tape in 29:41.13.
Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner brought the baton home for Villanova in the Women’s Distance Medley Relay Championship of America at the Penn Relays. The Dublin senior ran 1,600 meters in 4:36.09 to provide the squad with a winning time of 11:01.94.
Roisin Flanagan of Adams State won the women’s 800 meters at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship meet in Golden, Colo. with a time of 2:09.37, a new RMAC record. She is a sophomore from Gortin, Co. Tyrone, as is her twin sister Eilish, who got third place in the women’s 3,000 meters steeplechase. Her time of 11:12.52 was eclipsed by two others, including race winner Aneta Konieczek of Western State. On the men’s side of the ledger, Paddy Robb of Adams took second place in the 1,500 meters. The Belfast sophomore needed 4:02.14 to finish, not quite enough to hold off Derrick Williams of Colorado State-Pueblo.
West Alabama’s Oisin O’Gailin, a sophomore from Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, finished second in the men’s 1,500 meters at the Gulf South Conference Championships. He was in at 3:56.06 in a race won by Shorter’s Khayvon Benson in 3:55.49. Mitchell Byrne of American International placed fifth in the men’s 800 meters at the Skyhawk Invitational in Easton, Mass. The Dublin senior was along in 1:52.43 in a race won by Stonehill’s Lucas Taxter in 1:51.53.
Sinead Lohan helped Miami (Fla.) advance to the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship tournament with victories at third doubles and second singles. The Waterford senior teamed with Ana Madcur for a 6-3 victory over Sarah Baron and Katherine Butler to help the Hurricanes secure the doubles point. Then, Lohan, ranked no. 64 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, disposed of Caroline Daxhelet, 6-4, 6-3. Miami then fell by the wayside with a 4-1 loss to top-seeded Duke. The doubles match that Lohan was involved in was abandoned when the point was clinched on another court. She then dropped a 6-4, 6-2 verdict to no. 54 Meible Chi in singles action.