(ST. JOSEPH) It's taken six years for a young Northwest Golf program to produce their first regional athlete.
Now they have it in sophomore Steph Charteris.
"I haven't really thought about it," she said. "I try not to. I try to just pretend this is a normal tournament.The first Bearcat to play in an NCAA Regional, the Ontario native brings a short but impressive resume to the St. Joseph Country Club. She already owns MIAA Freshman of the Year honors and finished third at the MIAA Championships last season.
But she says she couldn't have predicted already making it this far."I never would have thought that I could be in a regional event like this and have a chance to go to Florida. It's definitely a good experience."
Charteris finished the first round tied for 17th at ten over par, but a score of 86 through round number two has knocked her down to a tie for 29th.
Not the day she and head coach Pat McLaughlin were hoping for, but her presence at the regional is another sign of where Northwest Golf is headed.
"The growth of the program itself has been phenomenal," McLaughlin said. "Then to have someone with the credentials like these girls have, it makes me proud of all of them."
Regardless of how the final day shakes out, having a young roster with players like Charteris in the fold spells good things for the Bearcats' future.
"It's very motivating for next year," Charteris said. "Hopefully I can make it to nationals by my senior year."
"If we could take a couple weeks off and start again, I'm ready to go," McLaughlin added. "It's really exciting to have a group of girls like this. Hopefully things will just continue to progress the way they have."
Charteris tees off at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the final round of the Central Regional.