PANORA - After a good round in tough conditions in the second day of the Region XI Tournament, Iowa Lakes qualified two golfers for the national tournament.
The Laker men trailed by eight strokes and were fifth overall entering play on Sunday. Iowa Lakes shot the low round of the day with a 320 to move up the leader board and finish second overall behind Iowa Central.
The Lakers had shot a 321 in the first day and finished with a two-day total of 641. That ended up being seven strokes behind the Tritons who had shot a 313 on the first day and finished with a 634. Kirkwood finished third with 643 followed by North Iowa Area with 646, Des Moines area with 647, Northeast with 651 and Southwestern with 743.
Sophomore Blake Orton finished in fifth place overall making the all-tournament team and also being named to the first team all-conference team. He shot an 80 on the first day and a 77 the second day to finish with a two-day total of 157.
Fellow sophomore Austin Sweeney tied for eighth overall with a 161 and had a three-player sudden feather playoff, which he won on the first hole to qualify for the national tournament. He was also named to the second team all-conference team.
Other players Harley Snelson shot a two-day total 162 missing the playoff for the final spot by one stroke, as he placed 11th. Freshman Jordan Sogard shot a two-day total of 163 missing by two strokes and placing 13th. Both players received honorable mention all-conference honors. Joe Dakken had a two-day total of 165 missing qualifying by four strokes and finished in 20th place.
"I'm very proud of how the guys were able to battle all weekend in some tough conditions," said Iowa Lakes coach Andy Soper. "The course played over 7,000 yards and today (Sunday) was very tough with pin locations and the wind gusting over 30 miles per hour. I feel very fortunate to have coached these young men. The only player coming back next year will be Jordan so we will be pretty young team and these guys will be greatly missed.
"Blake and Austin will compete at Nationals in Plymouth, Ind., and I know they are super excited to have the opportunity to play the National Tournament as their last event as a collegiate player," said Orton and Sweeney will compete at the NJCAA Men's Division 2 Golf Tournament May 20-23 at Swan Lake Golf Resort in Plymouth, Ind.