Aaron Stockton (Sr., Bellevue, Neb., Platteview High School) was his steady self in leading Nebraska Wesleyan University to its fourth Top 10 finish in a row at the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships.
The Prairie Wolves tied Carthage College for 10th place with 1,247 total strokes and showed consistency with rounds of 312, 314, 310 and 311. St. John’s University (Minn.) won with 1,204.
Stockton, who shot +14 (302) for the tournament, never had anything worse than a bogey at Nationals again this season, to duplicate his feat from 2006, when NWU won its first NCAA team title in school history. This year, he tied for seventh individually and earned All-America honors for the third consecutive season.
“The courses were really tough, and we didn’t play to our potential, but I was happy with the way we finished,” Stockton said.
Regarding his knack at staying out of trouble on the course, Stockton said, “Being able to play for four years has given me the experience I needed to stay mentally tough. It’s just something I learned over time.”
Nebraska Wesleyan’s Tyler Lawson (Jr., McCook, Neb., McCook High School) tied for 26th at +22 (310), while Nate Jaeger (Fr., Lexington, Neb., Lexington High School) tied for 52nd at +27 (315). Phil Hranac (Fr., Kearney, Neb., Kearney Catholic High School) tied for 91st at +36 (324) and E.J. Hamilton (Fr., Omaha, Neb., Gross Catholic High School), who shot 77 in the final round, placed 110th at +42 (330).
“This team had a great attitude and good chemistry, so hopefully, that will lead to better things next year, with four of our top five returning,” Nebraska Wesleyan Head Coach Brett Balak. “We didn’t play like we thought we could, and as a team we could have done better on damage control, but tied for 10th is a great finish, especially considering three of our five players were participating in their first national meet.”
NWU has placed in the top 10 at five of the last six NCAA Div. III Championships, including: sixth (2002), eighth (2004), fifth (2005), first (2006) and tied for 10th (2007).
For final individual results and team standings, click here.