Grand Canyon Enjoys All Kinds of Victories During Boulder Creek Tourney

Due to the setting, college golfers who play in a tournament in the Las Vegas area are winners, whether they hoist a trophy or not. But for the women of the Grand Canyon Univ. golf team, championships came fast and furious during the annual Jackrabbitt Invitational hosted by South Dakota State at Boulder Creek Golf Club.

The ‘Lopes swept the individual and team titles at the tournament, and also watched the men’s basketball team clinch the WAC Tournament title at The Orleans Arena to advance to NCAA March Madness.

What a few days in Vegas and Boulder City, indeed.

“This tournament is always great because the course is challenging and is always in such good shape,” said Constanza Guerrero, the co-medalist with Western Carolina’s Elizabeth Lohbauer. “The course is challenging and fun, and the win makes it so much more fun. It is awesome to have the opportunity to play here and in this area. We love coming to Vegas and Boulder City because they are such fun places to be. It was great to also watch the basketball team win the conference here. That win hyped us up and we said, ‘If they can do it, we can also do it.’”

Ericka Schneider, the South Dakota State head coach and tournament host, was bummed to not secure a victory, but understands college golf is more than wins and losses for the players.

“It’s a super unique experience, and Boulder Creek is like our home away from home,” said Schneider, who also hosts a fall event and brings the team to Southern Nevada for a mini-camp during the winter. “We have wonderful host families here and we don’t really feel like we’re necessarily traveling to go to a tournament because it is relaxing. I also know the other teams enjoy the tournament, not only because the golf course is great and the area is fun, but it is also a unique experience for a lot of these players to play desert golf. Also, some of the teams are on spring break, so they visit for a couple extra days and play other courses and experience the area before or after the event. Plenty of college students want to see what Las Vegas is about and being able to walk around the Strip and people watch and experience other areas is a great benefit. I don’t think you can ask for a better setting for a college golf tournament.”

Lohbauer, the co-medalist, led her team to a third-place finish.

“I’m really shocked and I wasn’t expecting to win coming into the tournament, so I’m really happy about it and I played really well,” said Lohbauer. “It was awesome and a great experience. I had never played golf on the west coast before. It was awesome to just come out here. We also got to vacation a little bit before the tournament. We saw the Grand Canyon, went to Hoover Dam, saw Red Rock Canyon, and we did a little sight-seeing in Downtown Las Vegas.”

South Dakota State sophomore Piper Stubbs understands their good fortune to play a couple ‘home’ tournaments in the Boulder City setting.

“We’re so lucky to play out here and this event is always on my birthday, so it’s extra special to come out here,” Stubbs said. “Our host families are great, and I think the other players and coaches also really enjoy the tournament. There are just good vibes all around. I really like being in this area with the landscape because we are from Brookings where it is flat with no mountains. It is very pretty here, and it is a pleasure to play here each year.”


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Making the individual co-medalist even more special for Grand Canyon’s Guerrero was also helping the team earn a victory. It was the first win of her career and also helped her earn the WAC Conference Golfer of the Week Award.

“It all comes down to all of our hard work,” Guerrero said. “Everybody is working really, really hard. It is spring break and we are here playing golf. And when we are home, we put in a lot of extra work together. That says a lot about this team.”

Lauren Giesecke, Grand Canyon’s head coach, was proud of the team, and the victory was a perfect way to celebrate her recent induction into the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame.

“This is a great tournament and we always enjoy coming up here to Boulder Creek and to Vegas,” said Giesecke during her victory speech. “I want to thank my team, who did a fantastic job, and this is exciting. Like Constanza said, we have been working very hard since the very beginning of the year, so it is terrific to see those efforts paying off.”

Boulder Creek Golf Club is an official course partner.