Hannah Schneider picked a good time to shine.
Schneider, a Norwalk graduate who finished her sophomore season as an early childhood education major, recently shot a spectacular 78 on her final round at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Canover (N.C), the site of the Division II championships.
It was the first time she broke 80 this year and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
“Hannah is a fighter,” coach Dominic Guarnieri said. “Never was it more evident than at the NCAA Division II nationals last month.”
Schneider played No. 5 on the team.
“I was steady the first three days, shooting an 86 on Day 1, an 84 on Day 2 and 87 on Day 3 and then the break-through round of 78 on the final day,’’ she said. “I was even more proud of the fact that my score was the low one counted by our team on the last day. The best scores from our team on the first three days were 73, 72 and 75.”
Findlay, which was making its first national appearance, finished seventh out of 12 teams.
The Oilers fired a school record 298 (they had a total of 1,223) during the final round of competition.
Lynn University won its second straight NCAA Division II National Championship with a 72-hole score of 1,164.
“I may have finished 68th out of 72 entries, but considering the strength of the field, I thought I held my own,’’ Schneider said. “The 78 I shot on the final day really had me feeling like I made a major contribution. Our team medalists on the previous three days shot 73, 72 and 75.”
“Hannah’s best round of the year came at our home course, Findlay Country Club,” said David Buck, Findlay’s assistant athletic director for media relations. “Her 165 total at the William Big-Beal Classic had her in seventh place at tournament’s end.”
“I played well in Florida at the spring break and brought that kind of game back north at our opener in Kentucky, one that has been snowed out the last number of years,” Schneider said. “But, after the Ohio Dominican Tournament, I got sick and just did not feel strong enough to play for two weeks.”
Schneider recovered in time to compete in the regional at The Purgatory Club in Indiana, a course that lived up to its name.
“It was a survival of the fittest.” she said.
Schneider ended up 47th with a 266 after rounds of 87, 86 and 93.
“Our team total on the last day was by far the most important number,’’ she said. “To advance from the Central Region to the North Carolina national finals, we had to place among the top three of 12 teams.
“We needed to make up four strokes on Ferris State (Mich.) on that last day to slip in as the third qualifier,’’ Schneider added. “We ended up beating them by 11, shooting a school record 298 (over 54 holes).”
Schneider, the daughter of Eric and Judy Schneider, said playing in a national tournament is a tremendous experience.
“It is also quite humbling,” she said.