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Becerra leads Warriors to fifth in NIACC Spring Invitational

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Matt Oliver

MASON CITY – With one final test before the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Championships, the Waldorf University men’s golf team took fifth place in Thursday’s NIACC Spring Invitational.

Hugo Becerra led the Warriors, securing fifth with an even-par, 72-stroke outing at the Mason City Country Club.

“He was definitely in contention for the individual title,” Waldorf coach Mark Clouse said. “He played a really consistent round of golf.”

Becerra notched his fifth top-five performance of the year. The junior from Ocotlan, Mexico is tied for first heading into the final stage of the NSAA Championships next week.

“Top five for Hugo heading into the conference meet is a really good confidence builder,” Clouse said.

Waldorf seniors Nick Boswell and Rick Young tied for 27th, carding 78-stroke totals. Boswell competed as an individual.

Senior Austin Heeren, freshman Kole Hallmark and junior Chad Hein tied for 32nd for the Warriors, turning in rounds of 79.

“They were all contributing, and it was decent day,” Clouse said.

Junior Thomas O’Rourke placed 48th after shooting an 82 as the final member of Waldorf’s lineup. Freshman Zabdiel Flores tied for 50th, finishing with an 84.

Iowa Lakes Community College won the team championship with 284 strokes. It was school-record performance for the Lakers, who are ranked No. 6 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II poll.

“Iowa Lakes played extremely well,” Clouse said. “That was an outstanding performance, but we did well.”

Four other NJCAA Division II ranked teams comprised the field. Twelfth-ranked Des Moines Area Community College (295) claimed second, No. 4 Kirkwood Community College (301) locked up third, No. 9 Iowa Central Community College (306) earned fourth and Waldorf (308) grabbed fifth to finish ahead of Southwestern Community College (309), No. 17 North Iowa Area Community College (317), Hawkeye Community College (336) and Ellsworth Community College (343).

“It was great weather conditions and was a good tune-up for our conference tournament,” Clouse said.

Iowa Lakes’ Matt Bennett won the individual title, firing a four-under 68 to finish one stroke ahead of teammate Jacob Baker.

The Warriors close out the spring campaign in the three-day NSAA Championships, starting on Sunday at Lincoln, Nebraska at 9 a.m.

Following the fall portion of the NSAA Championships, Waldorf holds fourth in the conference standings. The Warriors are ready to continue to battle like they have all spring.

“Consistency is a big part of golf,” Clouse said. “From tournament to tournament you’d like to be contending, and we’re definitely doing that right now. It’s good to see.”