April 26, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico women's golf team earned a berth in the NCAA Central Regional and landed the No. 4 seed overall for the NCAA Championships, the NCAA Division I women's golf committee announced Monday afternoon. The Lobos will head to Illinois State University, host of the Central Regional, May 6-8. This marks the 12th consecutive year New Mexico has made postseason action.
The NCAA Women's Golf Championships are divided into three regional sites and conclude with the finals May 18-21 at the Grand National Lake Course in Auburn, Ala. Each regional site hosts 21 teams, with the top eight in each region advancing to the finals. The NCAA ranks the top five in each region and the top 15 nationally, and then splits the schools into the three regions for the championships.
New Mexico was ranked second in the West region and fourth nationally. The Lobos join No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 9 Arizona, No. 10 Southern California and No. 15 Oklahoma as the nationally-ranked schools in the Central Regional. Other teams in the regional include Michigan State, Tulsa, Missouri, TCU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Indiana, SMU, Kent State, Purdue, Northwestern, Baylor, Notre Dame, Princeton and Illinois State.
UNM enters the championships after one of the most successful regular seasons in school history. The Lobos claimed four tournament titles and placed in the top 10 in all nine of their tournaments. Katrina Leckovic, Kailin Downs, Shannon Johnson and Ashley Rollins were named to the All-Mountain West Conference team, and Rollins was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year. All five Lobo starters are ranked in the top 100, led by Downs at No. 28.
"We are very excited to enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed in the nation," said New Mexico head coach Jackie Booth. "There will be some excellent competition at the regional, but we will be ready. We have some homework to do though, because we've never played at the University Golf Course at Illinois State. Our team is really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead at the regionals."
Live stats of the NCAA Central Regional will be available at www.GolfStat.com and through Illinois State's website at www.Redbirds.org.