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Casto Claims Spring Record, Leads WWU To Top-Two Finish
Casto led his team at the Mustang Intercollegiate, earning medalist honors against a competitive field.
Casto led his team at the Mustang Intercollegiate, earning medalist honors against a competitive field.

Friday, April 12, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. - In a regular season filled with success for the Western Washington men's golf team, junior Ethan Casto saved the best for last.

Competing along with three other GNAC teams at the final event of the regular season in the Mustang Intercollegiate, Casto led the Vikings to a second-place finish while earning medalist honors with a 15-under par finish in the desert. His total of 201 is the lowest 54-hole score ever shot by a GNAC golfer during the spring season and is the second-lowest in conference history.

In addition, the Snohomish, Wash. product's first-round score marked just the sixth time that a GNAC golfer has shot a round of 65 in the spring season.

As a team, WWU's two-day total of 842 ended up just two strokes behind first-place Colorado Mines. Saint Martin's was the next highest GNAC finisher, placing 14th with a score of 6-under-par throughout the two-day event.

Half of the conference appeared in the latest NCAA Division II West Region rankings, with Western Washington leading the way at No. 2. Simon Fraser is slotted at sixth in the poll, with Concordia rounding out the conference's representation at No. 8.

THIS WEEK'S TOURNAMENTS
Mustang Intercollegiate (Apr. 8-9 at Palm Valley Golf Club, Goodyear, Ariz.): Team - 1, Colorado Mines, 840 (276-279-285). 2, Western Washington, 842 (281-280-281). 14, Saint Martin's, 858 (283-291-284). 21, Montana State Billings, 889 (302-295-292). 23, Northwest Nazarene, 898 (301-303-294). Individuals - 1, Ethan Casto, Western Washington, 201 (65-67-69).

AROUND THE GNAC
MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• The Yellowjackets recorded a two-day total of 889 to finish in 21st place at the Mustang Intercollegiate. The tournament marked their fourth event of the spring season and was the team's final regular-season competition.

• Junior Garrett Woodin led the way for Montana State Billings, finishing tied for 30th individually with a total score of 215. Woodin saw marked improvement over each round, finishing with scores of 72 and 69 after an opening-round 74.

• Sophomore Caleb Trost finished seven strokes behind his top teammate. Trost finished in a tie for 83rd at Palm Valley with a total of 222.

• Woodin (75.4 through 25 rounds) and newcomer Jayd Dion (75.8 through four) lead MSUB through nine tournaments this season.

• Up next for the Yellowjackets is a trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where it will begin the postseason along with the rest of the conference at the GNAC Championships on Apr. 22-23.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Playing in their third competition of the spring season, the Nighthawks finished in 23rd place at the Mustang Intercollegiate.

• Junior Henry Bernard was the team's top placer, using bookend rounds in the 60s to pave the way to a top-20 finish individually. Ultimately ending the tournament in a tie for 19th, Bernard was just two strokes outside of the top-10.

• Sophomore Isaac Emerson finished tied for 74th at Palm Valley with a total of 220.

• Bernard is the team leader in scoring average with a total of 74.6 over 21 rounds. Emerson and senior Justin Higgins are following closely behind with a 76.8 clip.

• Northwest Nazarene will return to the links on Saturday at the Nighthawks Golf College-Am in Eagle, Idaho.

SAINT MARTIN'S
• The Saints recorded a two-day total of 858 to finish in 14th place at the Mustang Intercollegiate. The tournament marked their fourth event of the spring season and was the team's final tuneup prior to the GNAC Championships.

• Freshman Max Turnquist led the way for Saint Martin's, finishing tied for 19th individually with a total score of 212. Turnquist got off to a good start in Goodyear, opening with back-to-back rounds of 70 to lead the way to a top-20 showing.

• Sophomore Tyler Fitchett was just four strokes behind his top teammate. Fitchett finished in a tie for 42nd at Palm Valley with a total of 216.

• Fitchett leads SMU through eight tournaments this season with a 74.4 scoring average.

• Up next for the Saints is a trip to the GNAC Championships, where it will join the rest of the league at Coeur d’Alene on April 22-23.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• The Vikings recorded a two-day total of 842 to finish in second place against a large field at the Mustang Intercollegiate. The team now has eight top-five finishes in nine events on the 2018-19 season.

• Junior Ethan Casto led the way for Western Washington, earning medalist honors with a total score of 201. His final total, in addition to his first-round 65, were GNAC all-time lows at the Mustang Intercollegiate.

• It was freshman Jordan Lee who was the next-highest Viking, finishing in a tie for 25th after ending the event at 2-under-par.

• Lee leads WWU with a 72.3 scoring average. The conference's top five scorers all hail from Western Washington as Nick Sparling (72.4), Michael Butler (72.6), Casto (72.9) and Cody Roth (73.1) follow close behind.

• In the latest edition of the Golfstat Division II Team Rankings, the Vikings come in ranked at No. 4 nationally. In the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll, they are currently ranked sixth. 

• Up next for Western Washington is a trip to Coeur d'Alene, meeting the rest of the conference at the GNAC Championships on April 22-23.

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