ALEX DAHLEM ’20 SPORTS EDITOR
This past fall, four women at Trinity College played golf competitively for the first time in the college’s history. Although not officially a varsity athletic team yet, the Trinity Women’s Golf Team still experienced the hardships and successes of any other Division III athletic program, competing alongside other well established and well supported women’s teams. Participating as individuals due to a lack in varsity status, the women were able to play in the Bill Detrick Invitational hosted by the Trinity Men’s Golf team, as well as the NESCAC Women’s Golf Championship at Williams College.
Despite not commencing play until this semester, a Trinity Women’s golf team has been in the works since last semester when Sarah Vimini ’19 and Emily Schroeder ’20 decided to approach then-athletic director, Mike Renwick. After Renwick’s resignation, interim Athletic Director Kristen Noone reached out to the Dean’s and Trustees with the idea; however, athletic administration struggled to allocate funds to the team for the fall.
After receiving emergency funding from the Athletic Department, the women practiced all summer long and got their first shot at tournament play at the Bill Detrick Invitational in Newington, CT in an all-male field. Even though their scores did not count against the men, the symbolic importance of the event allowed Schroeder, Gabby Christensen ’21, and Marjorie Rednor ’20 to remain calm and focused, especially during such long and hot days: “It was an exciting tournament to represent the start of the women’s golf program” said Schroeder.
This trail-blazing spirit continued a month later at the NESCAC Women’s Golf Championship at Williams College. Vimini and Christensen were the Bantam competitors in Williamstown as a wrist injury forced Schroeder to watch from the sidelines. Christensen, the first freshman in program’s history, noted how much the team’s confidence soared compared to the first tournament: “It was much more enjoyable to be playing with all of these other schools, especially when they asked us about the status of our team.”
On a conference level, the advent of a Trinity Women’s golf team is important in order to gain national esteem. Currently only a six-team league, adding Trinity would give the NESCAC qualifying and “automatic-bid” rights for national tournaments. Vimini explained how supportive all of the other NESCAC coaches in Williamstown were about this process: “All of the coaches asked us when we are going to get our status as a NESCAC team and said that they were here to support us.”
Looking to the future, Schroeder and Vimini emphasized that they are constantly searching for new players, especially since they cannot officially become a team until they gain a 5th. In the meantime, they will continue to practice and hone their skills, ultimately looking ahead to the fall of 2018 and their next opportunity to bring Trinity its first NESCAC Women’s Golf Championship.