Women’s Golf has Decade High Finish & Three Medalists at ARC Championships


Janet Berry

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

After a season of consistent improvement, the BVU Women’s Golf team shone in their fall finale, the American Rivers Conference Championships.

The six-woman roster experienced many highs throughout the year, such as a thirdplace finish at the BVU Fall Invite and a fifthplace tally of 343 at the Lila Frommelt Classic. 

Hard work and the aforementioned seasonal improvement in scores from the six golfers have impressed Head Coach Janet Berry during the course of the season, which began way back in August.

Throughout the year, the final test loomed in the distance. The American Rivers Conference Championships, slated for a three-day competition on October 5th, 6th, and 7th, is the proving grounds for the best of the best in the ARC.

This year, Buena Vista shined brighter and finished higher than they have in over a decade thanks to a full effort from all six women.

“We wanted to be better than last year’s sixth-place finish. We finished fifth overall had the thirdbest score on the final day. It was a great team effort,” says Berry.

The team, comprised of Alison Schweers, Raelinn Arnold, Makaylee Tenhoeve, Katelyn Baltes, Cara Kempadoo, and Nicole Rohner as the lone outlier, shot for many career outings.

Day one saw the Beavers end in sixth place, just seven strokes behind Simpson. From there, Buena Vista found their swing and posted an impressive team score of 346 for day two, the fourthbest score of the evening. 

Day three concluded the Championships, as Buena Vista gained even more ground on the Storm and overtook the women from Indianola in one final effort. The third day’s team score of 336 was third-best, and the final tally for the Beavers totaled to 1046. Buena Vista would finish 5th at the tournament’s conclusion, just 15 strokes behind Central.

“We got better every round. We stayed focused and fought for every stroke,” says Berry.

Both Baltes and Kempadoo had career days at the ARC Championships, posting round best scores of 94 and 97.

Meanwhile, the other three golfers for the Beavers finished with All-Conference honors.

Tying for 10th place, Raelinn Arnold and Makaylee Tenhoeve both ended with a final score of 252, and a par of +36.

“Raelinn is a very talented player and was very consistent. She hits a long ball and her irons were good all tournament. I am super happy for her,” Berry adds. “Mak [Tenhoeve] had an amazing performance for a freshman. To earn All-Conference honors as a freshman is hard to do. Her putting was solid, and she was really good on the par 3’s. Her future is very bright.” 

Four strokes above Arnold and Tenhoeve and finishing in the impressive eighth-place slot, Junior Alison Schweers posted a score of 248. Schweers was only two strokes off of tying for fifth as well.

“Alison was solid all tournament but put together an amazing round the final day while shooting 77. Her putting was very good, and she showed a lot of poise,” says Berry. 

As a transfer student, playing her first two years of collegiate golf at DMACC, Schweers was confident in her ability to compete with her new fellow ARC golfers.

After finishing in 17th place after day one, Schweers had ground to make up. Consistent play over the course of the weekend saw the junior jump to 15th, and then 8th for an All-Conference medal on day three.

“Whenever I play in a tournament, I always try to improve the second day, or in this case, the second and third days. I didn’t know what place I was in when I was playing and I didn’t know how anyone else was doing, I was just focused on stringing together good holes and playing my game,” says Schweers. “I just wanted to improve every day, and hopefully, that would put me towards the top.”

It was also a weekend of positive and negative advantages for Schweers heading into the Championships. A stormy day on Saturday caused issues on the course, but familiarity with the Ames Country Club’s layout was pivotal. 

“Back in August, we played a practice round at Ames Golf and Country Club,” she remembers. “I felt like I had a little bit of an advantage because of this. On Sunday, I was starting to get comfortable around the greens, and I was setting myself up to have a good shot to make par, if not birdie on some of the holes. If I had a bad hole, I would always try to come back with a string of pars to help get my confidence back up.” 

Everything came together for Schweers that Monday. Coach proposed a goal for her to lose between two to five strokes. Her putting proved to be the piece that placed her performance above the rest. With the combination of rolling in 2 birdie putts and a lot of par putts, she focused in and got the job done, trusting herself with her seasoned skills.

Confidence, in the end, proved key for the entire Buena Vista lineup as the team took home three medals, as many as the last time it happened in 2003. The ‘03 season was also the last time the Beavers won the American Rivers Conference Championships. Safe to say, Berry and the squad are already looking forward to next year. 

“It feels good to have ended the fall season on a high note,” Schweers smiles.

Dubuque would take home the gold medal with a team tally of 985. Buena Vista’s fifth-place finish saw the Beavers overtake Simpson, Nebraska Wesleyan, Loras and Coe for the six through nine spots respectively. 

The entire tournament’s results can be found here.