“This team continues to amaze me with their great attitudes in the face of adversity,” Aggie head coach Jackie Booth said. “They never gave up and committed to our game plan.”
The Vandals led by seven strokes after round one, but NM State cut the lead to four strokes after two rounds and outshot Idaho by 10 strokes on Sunday to claim its 11th conference title in the program’s history and first since winning the Sun Belt Conference Championship in 2003.
The conference also announced its postseason awards on Sunday. Booth was named the WAC Coach of the Year by the conference. This is her second such award as she shared the honor in 2011 as co-head coach of NM State along with Paul Brilliant. Booth also received two Big West Coach of the Year honors (1995, 97) during her first stint with the Aggies.
“I was humbled by my peers selecting me for coach of the year,” Booth said. “It is such a great honor to receive this award from the conference.”
NM State sophomores Viviana Macias and Kacey Dalpes were placed on the All-WAC first team, while freshman Camille Orito received All-WAC second team honors. Orito was also named the WAC Freshman of the Year, becoming only the third Aggie to win the freshman honor.
The NM State victory came as all five Aggie golfers finished in the top 15 at the conclusion of the tournament. Leading the way were the award winners as Macias finished in second, Dalpes in a tie for third and Orito in sixth place. All three NM State golfers shot a 1-over 73 on Sunday.
Macias carded a total three-round score of 12-over-par 228 (75-80-73), four shots behind eventual WAC champion Leilani Kim of Idaho. Dalpes finished right behind her fellow Aggie sophomore at 13-over 229 (76-80-73). Orito, meanwhile, shot a total score of 17-over 233 (80-80-73).
Freshman Valeria Macias just missed finishing inside the top 10 with a total score of 21-over-par 237 (78-81-78). She finished in a tie for 12th place while freshman Kristen Cline ended up in a tie for 14th place at 23-over 239 (87-76-76).
“It was a great week for our young team,” Booth said. “Our women’s golf program had not won a conference championship in 11 years.”
First Team All-WAC
Charlotte Jaengkit, Grand Canyon
Leilanie Kim, Idaho
Kaitlyn Oster, Idaho
Viviana Macias, New Mexico State
Kacey Dalpes, New Mexico State
Second Team All-WAC
Emily Kaye, Grand Canyon
Cassie McKinley, Idaho
Susan Kirschenman, Kansas City
Cami Orito, New Mexico State
Melissa Bernal, Texas-Pan American
Player of the Year: Leilanie Kim, Idaho
Freshman of the Year: Cami Orito, New Mexico State
Coach of the Year: Jackie Booth, New Mexico State
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