One of the most impressive streaks in collegiate golf resides in Northeast Ohio
28 Apr 2024
by Justin Golba of AmateurGolf.com

Kent State women's golf team (Kent State Athletics Photo)
Kent State women's golf team (Kent State Athletics Photo)

One of the most impressive streaks in collegiate golf is taking place in Kent, Ohio, and you may not even be aware it exists. 

The Kent State Golden Flashes women’s golf team has won 25 straight Mid-American women’s golf championships. 

To make it more impressive, only 25 championships have been conducted, and Kent State has won all of them.

That level of consistency is hard to fathom in sports, but particularly in golf.

“I'm sure some years it has been easier for them, and some years it has been harder, and this was a hard one,” Kent State head coach Casey VanDamme said. “We had a girl turn pro, and one person was injured and had to leave the program, and we had been struggling a little bit. 

VanDamme added, “But our top players played great, and then Jennifer Gu had a gutsy performance. She was 2-under in her last five holes, and that got it for us.”

Kent State won the 2024 championship by eleven shots over Toledo, moving the streak to two and a half decades.

Golden Flash teammates Hester Sicking and Leon Takagi finished as co-medalists at 6-over, while Kent State freshman Veronika Kedronova finished in solo third place at 8-over, and Jennifer Gu finished T25 at 25-over. 

Gu finished 2-under on her last five holes helped propel Kent State to the win.

“I am just really proud of her,” VanDamme said about Gu. “It has been a tough year for her. She hasn’t played her best, but she has been close. Golf is weird. When things aren’t going well, it can be one thing after another, so it was amazing to see her step up when it mattered most.” 

This was the first collegiate win for Hester Sicking.

“I am very proud of her,” VanDamme said. “It's fun to watch her keep growing.” 

For Kent State, it is about always growing and evolving to sustain the success they have had. 

“We have been very fortunate,” VanDamme said. “We have great facilities and a great budget, so we are able to attract really good players.” 

VanDamme added, “As you sustain it, the players are good players. They do their best and control what they can control. They are proud of the streak, and they don’t want to be a part of it ending.”

And the players don’t run from it, since they understand the importance too. Kedronova said it was the most pressure she had ever felt to keep the streak alive and not be the group that it ended with.

“They know it is important, not just to them but to other people,” Van Damme said. “It has progressed, and the standard has been passed down.” 
Now, the flashes will turn their attention to Regionals next week as the ten seed and the MAC representative. 

“In golf, you just move to the next one,” VanDamme said. “Now, we want to figure out what we need to do, how we can get better, and what we need to get better at.”

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