PHS grad Bayley and Grizzlies making appearance at NCAA Division III golf championship
FRANKLIN — Plymouth alumna Allison Bayley will join the Franklin College women’s golf team next week as its makes its return to the NCAA Division III Championship.
Franklin will compete in the 2012 nationals at Zollner Golf Course at Trine University in Angola beginning Tuesday. It is the first time since 2010 the Grizzlies qualified for a team berth to the tournament and the program’s fourth trip to the DIII finals overall.
Admission to the championships will be free. There will be two flights during the three preliminary rounds Tuesday through Thursday. Flights will begin at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m, and the championship round will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Franklin earned automatic qualification for the NCAA finals by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament title at Defiance, Ohio last October. The Grizzlies captured their first HCAC championship since 2009 and their 12th league title overall as fifth-year head coach Roger Lundy was named HCAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time.
Counting four straight years of competing in the NCAA nationals between 1996 and 1999 when Division II and III teams and individuals played in a combined championship, Franklin will be participating in the NCAA’s top competition for the eighth time.
The Grizzlies’ NCAA berth marks the 13th time in 16 years either an individual the program has qualified for national competition. Franklin finished a best-ever fifth place in the 2001 DIII competition and was fifth in the combined Division II/III event in 1997.