May 09, 2024

Strand takes top 25 finish at NCAA Regional

Posted May 09, 2024 12:06 PM

Story by NU Athletic Communications 

Nebraska women's golfer Kelli Ann Strand closed the NCAA Cle Elum Regional with a final-round 76 to for 24th overall in a 66-player field on Wednesday.

Strand, a sophomore from Challis, Idaho, ended the 54-hole tournament with a 225 (+9) to match fellow individual competitors Emma Bunch (New Mexico State), Riana Mission (San Francisco) and Sabrina Iqbal (Colorado) along with two other golfers in a six-way tie for 24th.

Strand capped her second season at Nebraska with a school-record 71.53 stroke average over 32 rounds, breaking the record she set a year ago (72.05). Strand's tie for 24th was the best individual finish by a Husker women's golfer at an NCAA Regional since JC Stevenson (T14th) and Elli Brown (T22nd) notched top-25 finishes for the Huskers at the 2008 NCAA Central Regional in Austin, Texas (May 8-10). Last season, Strand tied for 30th individually at the NCAA Raleigh Regional.

Strand became just the third golfer in Husker history to own a pair of top-30 finishes in NCAA Regional play, joining first-team All-American Sarah Sasse (T13th, 2000; T8th, 2001; T5th, 2003) and Amy Roux (T27th, 2000; T29th, 2001). 

Stanford ran away with the NCAA Cle Elum Regional title with a three-round total of 847 (-17), which was 18 strokes better than runner-up Duke (865). Virginia finished 29 strokes behind the Cardinal in third at 876, while Arizona State (885) and San Jose State (887) rounded out the top-five teams. Those five schools advanced to the upcoming 30-team NCAA Championship at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. (May 17-22).

Long Beach State's Jasmine Leovao, who finished eighth individually with a three-round total of 218 (+2), also advanced to the national championship as the top individual on a non-advancing team from the regional.

Rachel Heck led a Stanford squad that claimed four of the top-five spots, closing with a 54-hole score of 208 (-8) to claim a four-stroke victory over teammate Kelly Xu (212) on the par-72, 6,306-yard layout of the Tumble Creek Club at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. Stanford's Megha Ganne and Paula Marin Sampedro tied for third with Virginia's Amanda Sambach at 214 (-2).