Lobos Begin Championship Quest Tuesday Morning
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  05/18/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

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May 18, 2009

The 22nd-ranked University of New Mexico women's golf team begins competition at the NCAA Championships Tuesday morning at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. Georgetown University is the host. UNM tees off at 7 a.m. MDT. Competition runs through Friday. The Lobos are in the Championships for the 14th time since competition started in 1982. UNM's last appearance was 2007 at Daytona Beach, Fla., when it finished 22nd. New Mexico's best finish is a tie for sixth in 1985.

THE FORMAT - A total of 24 teams and 126 individuals will vie for titles over four rounds and 72 holes. The low four scores for each team will count in each day's total score. Eight teams and two individuals, not on a selected team, advanced from the East, Central and West regionals held May 7-9.

LOBO LINEUP - Head coach Jill Trujillo will travel seniors Mikaela Backstedt and Morgan Grantham, juniors Britney Choy and Jodi Ewart and freshman Rebecca Hellbom.

THE FIELD - The 24-team field includes Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Denver, Duke, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Pepperdine, Purdue, Southern Cal, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Tulane, Virginia, UC Irvine, UCLA, UT Chattanooga and Wake Forest.

The six individuals competing are Marina Alex (Vanderbilt), Cathryn Bristow (Oregon), Stephanie Connelly (UCF), Kendall Dye (Oklahoma), Alice Kim (UC Davis) and Cindy LaCrosse (Louisville).

USC is the defending team champion won last year at the UNM Championship Course in Albuquerque. Back to defend her individual title is Arizona State's Azahara Munoz.

LOBOS PAIRED WITH BLUE DEVILS, LONGHORNS - New Mexico will play with Duke and Texas in the first two rounds. The trio's start times on Tuesday are between 6:30-7:10 a.m. MDT from the No. 1 tee. It's from 10:50-11:30 a.m. from the 10th tee on Wednesday.

HEAD COACH Jill Trujillo - A 1990 UNM graduate and women's golf letterwinner from 1987-90, Jill Trujillo is in her second full season in charge of the women's golf program. Trujillo has led New Mexico to four team titles, including the 2008 and 2009 Mountain West Conference Championships. She was named the 2007-08 MWC Coach of the Year. Trujillo was UNM's interim head coach the last time the team advanced to the NCAA Championships in 2007 at Daytona Beach.

CAVES VALLEY GOLF CLUB - Caves Valley Golf Club is located 35 minutes from Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Nine hundred sixty-two acres of rolling hills, pastures, woods, and wetlands, situated amid the natural beauty of Maryland's estate and hunt country form a spectacular setting for the golf club and its support facilities.

To preserve the heritage of this beautiful land, substantial acreage has been deeded in perpetuity to the Maryland Environmental Trust, ensuring forever its protection from development.

Designed by nationally acclaimed golf course architect Tom Fazio as "a golfer's club," Caves Valley is one of a few clubs in America focused solely on golf and golfer's needs. The course features 18 holes, each uniquely fashioned to suit the natural environment. The course became fully playable in July 1991.

A LOOK BACK AT THE 2008 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS - Southern California captured the championship at the University of New Mexico Championship Course. The Trojans won by six strokes over UCLA and claimed their first women's golf national championship since 2003. Arizona State junior Azahara Munoz was the medalist after finishing at 1-under 287 through 72 holes then winning a one-hole playoff over UCLA's Tiffany Joh.

Southern California extended its tournament winning streak to four events after breaking away with the title. The Trojans claimed their second team title in school history. UCLA finished second at 22-over (1,174) while three-time defending champion Duke took third at 28-over (1,180). Purdue was 36-over (1,188), finishing fourth and Arizona State was fifth at 37-over (1,189).