GCU reaps conference honors for golf, cross-country

Local Valley grads have picked up some impressive honors at Grand Canyon University, one on his way out and the other on her way up.

Terence Daniels, who was the state champion in 2005 at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, was named PacWest Conference Golfer of the Year for his senior year at GCU.

Joy Hulsey, a three-time region cross-country champion during her years at Sunrise Mountain High School in Phoenix, was named the conference Women’s Cross-country Freshman of the Year.

Daniels wrapped up his senior season at the college in west Phoenix with a victory in the PacWest Championships and followed that up by qualifying earlier this month for the U.S. Amateur Championships, to be played Aug. 23-29 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.

He was also the 2008-09 PacWest Conference Player of the Year and  posted a 73.3 average for his senior season, finishing ranked No. 11 in the NCAA D-II West Region.

Joining him on the conference First Team were three other Arizona athletes: Brandon Hill from Millenium High School in Avondale, Daniel Harrington from Dobson High School in Chandler, and Bentley Nakasawa from Yuma Catholic High School.

Hill, who didn’t start playing golf until high school, tied for fourth at the PacWest Championships, and Yakamawa was the Yuma Area Golfer of the Year in 2004 and was named to the NJCAA National All-Tournament Team while at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix.

Hulsey ran her top 5K time of the season (21:42.4) at the PacWest Championships and placed 21st in the event.  She was the team’s No. 2 runner in five of seven events, including the last five races.

GCU garnered a couple of additional conference honors when Julio Zuniga from Mexico City was named PacWest men’s cross-country Freshman of the Year, and Marc Chandonnet was selected the conference’s Golf Coach of the Year.

Chandonnet, who was a four-year golf letter winner at GCU from 1999-2003, finished his second season as the men’s head golf coach at GCU, leading the squad to its second straight PacWest team title.

Prior to taking over as head coach, he was an assistant on the Antelopes golf team and part of the program’s three straight NCAA championships – and is also the women’s golf head coach.

And to help assure the continuation of the program’s success, Chandonnet recruited in another local golfer, a well-traveled Division I transfer who will compete for the Antelopes for his senior season.

Jake Golembiewski arrives at GCU from Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, via Mesa Community College and Cal State Fullerton.  In 2008 he was runner-up in the 2008 Phoenix Amateur, and last month he was the runner-up at the AGA Arizona Amateur Championship.

(Daniels Photo: GCU Athletics/Tim Koors)