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The Carletonian

Rising golf star Alyssa Akiyama shares stories of MIAC Championship

<ir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-8de69274-3099-10dc-4832-cd58d3dc3188">While this is the time of year most Knights are cramming to get papers done and counting down the days until break, Alyssa Akiyama ’20, a member of the women’s golf team, is winning the MIAC championships.

The MIAC women’s golf championship teed off October 8 and Carleton sent its women’s team there with high hopes for a victorious showing. Akiyama shot her way into first place and led the charge to bring the Carleton squad to second place overall. Regarding her win, Akiyama said, “It was surprising for me to win as a first year. I was two strokes back after two rounds, and I knew I could get first if I concentrate and keep focusing on every shot.”

After the women finished day one, Akiyama was in a four-way tie for third place. After a strong day two, Akiyama moved into sole possession of third place, only two shots out of first place. But day three saw Akiyama jump into first place and take home the individual first place championship for the Knights. The team championship came down to the wire, with only two strokes separating the first and second place teams this season. “We were two strokes away from tying with St. Catherine and having a team playoff. Although the second place finish was unfortunate, everyone on our team played their best, and we should be looking forward to the spring season” said Akiyama.

Although she had been having lots of success all year long, she was not getting quite the results she anticipated in some of the tournaments later in the season. “In the last two tournaments before the conference, I was a stroke away from winning both tournaments” Akiyama said.

Spring season will be an exciting one for the women’s golf team as they look to top their very strong performances from this fall season. Akiyama said that her individual goal is “to lower my current score average of 75.27 into about 73. I believe I would be able to reach that goal if I improve my putting and short game. It would take many practices inside in the winter, but I am willing to make those efforts to achieve my goal.”

Though she plans to put in a lot of extra work this offseason to make herself and the women’s golf team even more formidable in the spring season, Akiyama said that she is also looking forward to more free time this winter. She believes balancing both academics and athletics can be challenging, but she “was able to find time to socialize and attend Carleton performances such as comedy shows and Synchrony.”

Akiyama’s fall term highlight reel includes much more than just an individual conference championship, second place team finish and a viewing of some Carleton comedy shows. Akiyama also set a personal record in the Wartburg College Invitational. She shot a personal best 67, including six birdies and only one bogey. Regarding the victory, Akiyama said, “I have never shot under 70, and I was very nervous when I knew that could be happening. I ended up with 67 (5 under) which was a MIAC record for the lowest 18 holes one round.”

Akiyama also picked up a spot on the 2016 MIAC Women’s Golf All Championship Team for her strong performance this Fall. Meanwhile, Carleton Women’s Golf ended the fall season ranked number six in NCAA Golfstat rankings with a good chance to go to nationals as a team in the spring.

Despite many high stakes situations this season for Akiyama, she has never let the pressure get to her. “I was enjoying the moment and having fun. There was pressure to do well, but I knew I was not out there alone playing with that pressure.” Through all of the pressure and success, Akiyama recognizes that the true strength of Carleton Women’s Golf is the team atmosphere they have. “I am very thankful for my teammates, friends, and family who have supported me through the time here at Carleton,” Akiyama said.

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