Krista Reinhardt continues record-breaking year
DAYTON, Tenn. – On Thursday, Bryan College women’s golf standout Krista Reinhardt continued her record-breaking year as she garnered another first-ever title for the program when the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the 2018 NAIA Women’s Golf All-America Teams where the Tampa, Fla. native earned herself a spot on the Third Team. A total of 45 student-athletes were honored with 15 individuals being named to each of the three teams, and these were selected by the NAIA Women’s Golf Coaches’ Association All-America Committee. In addition to being named an All-American, Reinhardt was also Bryan’s lone representative to the 2018 Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Golf Scholar-Athlete list. In total, just 156 women’s golf student-athletes were given the honor. In order to be nominated by an institution’s sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved junior academic status.
At the end of April, Reinhardt put her name in the Bryan College golf record books for the first time of the year, as she became the program’s first-ever Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She accomplished the feat when she outplayed most of the field and tackled the testing weather conditions in the 2018 Direct Qualifier—AAC Tournament, which took place at the Tega Cay Golf Club in Tega Cay, South Carolina. Despite another individual taking medalist honors in the qualifier, the consistently dominant play by Reinhardt throughout the season and a second-place finish in this particular event helped her level her rival, Sarah Son of Milligan College (Tenn.), for the Co-Player of the Year crown. Reinhardt landed on the All-AAC First Team and joined three fellow Lions on the All-Academic Team, recognizing student-athletes who are a sophomore, junior, or senior and maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 or higher.
Prior to the tournament event at Tega Cay, Reinhardt played the best round of golf in her career at the 5,926-yard Greg Norman Tennessee National Golf Course in Louden, Tenn. during the 2018 Spring AAC Championship. A bogey and double bogey was all that stood between her (75) and an even par after day one, trailing two strokes behind the leader (73), Son of Milligan. The deficit wasn’t enough to hold off Reinhardt as she roared ahead in dramatic fashion on the second day to capture the first AAC Women’s Individual Championship for the Lions since Audrey Nelson in 2012. She set the tone early in the last round, registering a birdie on the first hole and never looked back. She notched another birdie on the 10th and had several other opportunities to do so as she shocked the crowd with a barrage of impressive approach shots. When the round came to an end, Reinhardt had left the competition behind, topping day one leader Son by seven strokes and previous second place Courtney Lowery of Point University (Ga.) by five strokes for an even par 72. Her two-day total of 147 not only established her own 36-hole record but shattered a Bryan record that she owned, while also setting a new AAC record for the lowest 36-hole score in conference tournament history. Her performance at Tennessee National resulted in Reinhardt receiving her first career AAC Women’s Golfer of the Week honors.
Not only has her skill on the course been impressive to Bryan Head Golf Coach Peter Bollant, but also the barriers that she has overcome while having a heart for the Lord. “We are so proud of what Krista has been able to accomplish this year,” said Coach Bollant. “Returning from major ankle surgery was a setback, but her determination and competitive drive have helped her rise to the top not only in golf but in academics and life in general. Her hunger for excellence has led her to become the AAC Player of the Year and an All-American, but more than anything seeing her rise up in her relationship with Jesus not only in her ministry in her local church and mission trip service but also in the way she demonstrates Christ is incredible. I love the way she wanted to walk the last three holes, pray, and discuss the Bible when she was battling for the 2018 AAC Championship… the most crucial and competitive moment of her career. Her enthusiasm, drive, and demeanor truly bring glory to our Lord.”