WWU Athletes Exercise Mental, Physical Abilities

June 08, 2018 | Kim Strobel

Men’s Golf Team Places Third in Conference Championship

The Walla Walla University men’s golf team placed third in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championship tournament at Pronghorn Resort in Bend, Ore., April 23–24, 2018.

The Wolves were in fifth place at the end of the first day of play on Pronghorn’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. In the final round, seniors Brendan Collins and Cole Henderson each put up scores of 78 to help move the Wolves into third place.

“We talked about focusing on one shot at a time, one hole at a time, and having a short memory after a bad swing or bad hole,” says Rodd Strobel, WWU assistant professor of physical education and golf coach. “It was a very challenging course. There was only one red number [score under par] for the tournament.”

“I told them to always do their best no matter how their round was going because you never know how the other teams are playing,” continues Strobel. That approach would prove key to the team’s success in the third round. The Wolves were one of only two teams to improve scores between the second and third rounds and the only team to improve in each round of the tournament.

The team from Oregon Institute of Technology took first place, with Corban University placing second. Other universities at the tournament were College of Idaho, Multnomah University, Northwest Christian University, and Warner Pacific University.

Members of the WWU men’s golf team include Brendan Collins, senior from Citrus Heights, Calif.; Kevin Cummings, sophomore from Paradise, Calif.; Aubrey Fautheree, senior from Mount Vernon, Wash.; Cole Henderson, senior from College Place, Wash.; Derek Irvine, sophomore from Happy Valley, Ore.; Mark Janta, freshman from Beaverton, Ore.; Jarrett Johnson, senior from Damascus, Ore.; Brent Kight, freshman from Troutdale, Ore.; Jack Stinson, freshman from Gresham, Ore.; and Tim Wheeler, sophomore from Calimesa, Calif. Curtis Kuhlman, WWU assistant professor of health and physical education, is associate golf coach.

Henderson says the key to the final round for him was his mental approach. “Especially with this course, everyone had to grind through the big numbers. Being able to avoid those big numbers or being able to mentally check back in after those big numbers was huge,” he explains. Henderson adds that controlling the damage made the difference. “I still found myself off in the sagebrush a few times," he admits, "but I minimized the damage a lot by not turning one mistake into two.”

“I have never been more proud of these guys,” says Strobel, “not because of the third place, which is a really big deal for us, but because of the way they stayed focused and resilient on a very difficult course.”

WWU Adds Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country Teams

WWU will add men’s and women’s cross-country teams for the 2018–19 athletics season, joining 10 other colleges and universities with cross-country teams in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

“Cross-country is a natural fit for our athletics program when you consider the mission of Walla Walla University and the long history of Seventh-day Adventists of focusing on health and wellness,” says Paul Starkebaum, WWU interim athletic director. “We are excited about the opportunities that adding a cross-country team will bring.”

Mission-Centered Athletics

The athletics program at WWU provides the opportunity for student athletes to develop and exercise their athletic abilities, learn leadership skills, build lasting relationships, and grow spiritually. Maintaining a mission-centered program, the WWU athletics program promotes a healthy, balanced life — body, mind and soul — for their athletes through sport. Athletic opportunities include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Learn more at www.uwolves.com.