Three members of the Nebraska Wesleyan University men’s golf team were named to the 2008-09 Great Plains Athletic Conference men’s golf All-GPAC team that was announced Thursday (May 7). Juniors E.J. Hamilton and Nate Jaeger, joined sophomore Patrick Hanzel on the All-GPAC team. In addition, NWU head coach Brett Balak was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Men’s Golf Coach-of-the-Year.
Hamilton, a junior from Omaha, Neb., was the individual runner-up at the 2008-09 GPAC Championships with a four-day total of 300 (+13), which was four shots off the leader. He has an average score of 76.3 this season and was named the GPAC Player-of-the-Week earlier this year. This is the second time Hamilton has earned All-GPAC after earning honors as a freshman in 2007.
Jaeger, a junior from Lexington, Neb., finished in a tie for eighth place at the GPAC Championships with teammate Patrick Hanzel. Jaeger had a three-day total of 307 (+20) at the GPAC Championships. On the season, Jaeger has had eight top ten finishes. He also earned his second All-GPAC honor after placing fourth as a freshman in 2007.
Hanzel, a sophomore from Lincoln, Neb., tied with Jaeger for eighth at the GPAC Championships with a score of 307 (+20). He had a low round of 75 in the second GPAC Qualifier. Hanzel won the NWU Spring Invite in early April for his first career collegiate victory. He earns All-GPAC honors for the second straight season after placing in a tie for ninth as a freshman in 2008.
Balak earns GPAC Coach-of-the-Year honors after leading NWU to a come from behind victory in the GPAC Championships. NWU trailed by 19 strokes after two qualifiers, and still were five strokes behind heading into the final round. The Prairie Wolves won their sixth GPAC title under Balak, and their 12th league title in 15 seasons under Coach Balak. This is the second time that Balak has earned GPAC Coach-of-the-Year honors.
The NWU men’s golf team is now preparing for the NCAA Division III National Championships, which will be held May 13-16 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. This will be the 25th NCAA III appearance for the NWU men’s golf team.