Schlenk ready for her fourth national tournament as a Royal

Sam Herder
Kelsey Schlenk

By Sam Herder

Journal Sports Editor

It was a busy day Friday for Lake Region State College sophomore Kelsey Schlenk.

Schlenk gave a speech at the commencement ceremony to the graduating class of 2016. But the speech wasn’t the last thing Schlenk will do as a Royal this year.

Her and assistant golf coach Danny Mertens departed later that day for the NJCAA National Golf Tournament at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The national tournament marks the fourth of Schlenk’s career at LRSC. She appeared in the national golf tournament last year and was also on the women’s basketball team that qualified for the national tournament two years in a row.

"Kelsey participating in her fourth national tournament is a pretty special opportunity and a first in school history,” Mertens said.

The tournament begins today and goes through Thursday. Schlenk took third back in October at the Region XIII Tournament to qualify.

From her experience last year at the national tournament, Schlenk’s competition golfed year round. In North Dakota, that’s not going to happen.

But Schlenk has been able to get more practice in outdoors compared to last year.

"I tried to get out more this year with the better weather and practiced my short game mostly," Schlenk said.

Tournaments during the season are usually one or two days. A four-day tournament can be an adjustment.

"With participating last year in the tournament I think it'll help me a lot to know what to expect,” Schlenk said. “Less nerves. It's a different environment this year, though, with it being wet and swampy and humid"

“Kelsey's experience from last year is going to be key this year," Mertens added. “Four days in 90 degrees can wear on a freshman, so being sophomore, Kelsey knows what to expect."