GOSHEN — Taylor University senior Alec Dutkowski fired a school-record 7-under par 64 to lead the Trojans on the final day of the NAIA Men’s National Golf Championship Friday on the 6,925-yard, par-71 layout of Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona.
The NorthWood High School graduate carded six birdies, an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole, and just one bogey during his record-setting effort.
The 64 allowed Dutkowski to move up an incredible 25 spots on the individual leader board and earn a spot in a three-man sudden-death playoff for the NAIA individual national title.
Dutkowski fell in the playoff to Costal Georgia’s Mark David Johnson who made birdie on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th.
“What an incredible way for Alec to finish his career,” Taylor coach Cameron Andry said in a statement on the school’s web site. “He has been one of the best players in the nation over the course of his four years at Taylor and today’s final round is the best round of golf I’ve ever seen in person.”
Dutkowski finished second among the individuals with an 80-73-69-64—286.
He got off to a shaky start as high winds created challenging conditions during the opening round. He began with a bogey on the first hole and a double bogey on the second hole. He made another double on the par-3 fifth hole followed by a triple on the par-4 ninth and a double on the par-4 tenth during the opening round.
The three-time Crossroads League Player of the Year maintained his composure and played his final eight holes at 1-under to card an opening round 80.
Taylor placed ninth in the team standings with a 307-297-303-296—1,197. It was the second straight top-10 finishes at the nationals for the Trojans.
•Junior Linnzie Richner (NorthWood) played 26 rounds, averaging 81.35 strokes for the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. She had a low round of 74 and a top ten finish. In 75 career rounds, her average is 82.24.
•Senior Kayla Casaletto (Elkhart Christian Academy) completed her career for the Cedarville University Yellow Jackets at the NCAA Division II women’s outdoor national championships, in Kingsville, Texas. She participated in the 3,00-meter steeplechase, finishing ninth in her heat (11:25.39), but he didn’t advance to the finals. Casaletto holds the Cedarville steeplechase record (10:39.68) and has five of the top ten times in program history. She was a 2019 All-American in the distance medley relay at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championship.
•Bethel’s 4 x 800 relay of junior Jessica Duvall, junior Anna Nisen (Concord), junior Vanessa Steiner (Concord) and sophomore Emma Jankowski finished 19th (9:44.95) in the 4 x 800 relay at the NAIA outdoor track and field championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
•Sophomore Ally Bailey (Elkhart Memorial) was part of a record-setting 4 x 400 relay for the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons in the Summit League outdoor championships in Macomb, Illinois. Bailey teamed with freshman Rachel Pierre-Louis, senior Olivia Coleman and junior Savannah Girolami for a fourth-place finish in a time of 3;48.57 and a new school record. Each runner recorded a personal best time. Bailey was also a member of the 4 x 100 relay that placed fifth in 47.85, just off the school record. Pierre-Louis, Coleman and junior Lexi O’Connell were the other members of the relay.
•Goshen College freshman Simon Graber Miller (Bethany Christian) placed 10 spots high than his seed in high jump at the NAIA outdoor track and field championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Graber Miller finished in a tie for 12th. He went out of the competition at 6-8 3/4, which would have been a GC record, surpassing the 6-8 by Kyle Mishler in 2014.
Sophomore Jacob Gerber (Goshen) was 14th in the men’s hammer with a distance of 174-1 on his first attempt. Gerber was the first male thrower to represent the Maple Leafs in eight years. He also had efforts of 169-3 and 167-4 in the preliminaries and was one of 13 athletes completing the day without fouling.
•Sophomore Bailey Lang (Bethel) finished 15th in hammer (172-9) for the Pilots at the NAIA outdoor national championships.
•The Spring Arbor Cougars posted a 23-29 overall record this season, 13-14 in the Crossroads League. Sophomore Vincent Hershberger (NorthWood) batted .294 (40-for-136) with 11 doubles and a home run in 48 games. He scored 32 runs and drove in 31. Freshman Brant Mast (NorthWood) appeared in 52 games, batting .263 (44-for-167) with two doubles, two triples and a home run. He scored 32 runs and knocked in 16. Freshman Dylan Trick (Northridge) was also on the roster.
•Sophomore pitcher Drew Minnich (NorthWood) posted a 1-1 record with a 4.79 ERA in nine games (eight starts) for the Cedarville Yellow Jackets. He pitched 41 1/3 innings, striking out 33 and walking 15.
•The Ohio Northern Polar Bears finished the season with a 23-18 overall mark, 10-8 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Freshman catcher Mason Troyer (Northridge) appeared in eight games, going without a hit in six at-bats. He drew a walk, was hit by a pitch and stole a base. He recorded nine putouts with no errors for a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Greg Keim can be reached at email@example.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN