Walters State wins national title

May 24th, 2014

The Senators won the program’s first golf national championship and Walters State became the first junior college in the state of Tennessee to claim national titles in two different sports.

Despite shooting a final round 20-over-par 308 Friday, the Senators still won by 11 shots over Mesa (Ariz.) at the NationalJunior College Athletic Association Division II men’s tournament in Plymouth, Ind.

Walters State, runner-up a year ago, led wire-to-wire and finished the four-day tournament on the Black Course at Swan Lake Resort at 37-over 1189.

Central High School graduate Brad Hawkins and Halls graduate Cody Johnson were both named to the All-Tournament Team and made First Team All-American based on theirfinish. Hawkins shot 2-over 74 Friday to finish sixth at 6-over 294, seven shots behind individual winner Levi Fink of North Iowa Area College. Johnson was 8th despite a 75 Friday to finish at 297.

Halls graduate Andrew Hall shot 79 to finish in 20th at 302. Halls graduate Will Wright had an 80 to tie for 28th at 305. McMinn County graduate Ryne Thompson’s 86 placed him at 57th at 314.

Walters State coach BillGardner, who coached an individual national champion in Ryan Cabbage back in 1995, became the second coach at Walters State to guide his team to a national title.

Walters State won a national championship in baseball in 2006.

Gardner, who has also coached the men’s basketball and baseball during his tenure at Walters State, was named the NJCAA National Coach of the Year after the tournament.

Courtesy of: Knoxville News Sentinel

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