Santrach, Caird named MIAC All-Conference golfers

By Mathew Starner

For Nick Santrach ’11, last weekend’s MIAC Championships tournament wasn’t about being named All-Conference, although he was the first Mac golfer from the men’s team to do so since 1999 by finishing in the tournament’s top ten. It was about pride.”I was just fed up with finishing tied for 19th. I had enough of that,” he said. “Two years previous I finished 19th place. I was due. I think that’s what it comes down to. It was my time to put something decent together.”

Santrach finished fifth in the MIAC Championships, highlighted by shooting a career low even par on the second day at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. Santrach shot 74, 72 and 76 through the three days.

On the women’s side of the tee, head coach Martha Nause added another All-Conference golfer to her resumé. Grace Caird ’13 became the fourth golfer in five years to be named All Conference on the women’s team.

“After I watched her play all fall, I believe she is National caliber,” Nause said. “I certainly think it’s within her realm of achieving.”

Caird earned her first All-Conference honors in her second year after posting scores of 87, 84 and 85, enough to place ninth in the MIAC Championships.

“It feels good,” she said. “I went out there and I played pretty consistent golf all three days. Nothing special. I was really excited that I came in ninth. I had no idea that I finished in the top ten.”

Caird joins Jordan Matheson ’09 and two-time honoree Karla Leon ’10 as the fourth All-Conference player in the last five years.

The women made improvements since last year’s MIAC Championships, lowering the team’s score by 44 strokes. Despite losing experienced players like Leon, the team was able to get strong performances from new faces, notably Maddie Arbisi ’14, who shot the second best score on the team with a low of 92 on the second day.

“With the young team we had and the number of people who were inexperienced or young, they did great with a lot of personal best performances,” Nause said. “Most freshmen struggle in their first year, and she came in and did better than I expected.”

Another freshman, Maddie Brasunas ’14, posted a career low 106 on the third day.

With the impressive finishes on the year, optimism is raised for future success. “Now we all have more experience under our belts, so moving on we’re all excited for what we could do,” Caird said. “We’ve got great potential as a team.”

Despite a ninth place finish for the men’s team, higher finishes still appear within reach. “Everybody’s got low numbers in them, it’s just a matter of finding them and bringing them out when it matters,” Santrach said. “There’s a lot of talent, lot of kids hit the ball well.”

For Santrach, however, finishing All-Conference isn’t going to be the pinnacle of his golfing career.

“Even though it’s the end of my Mac career, I don’t see it as the end of my career as a golfer,” he said. “I think I got another twenty years of tournament golf in me. I’m just getting started.