Driving to Knox

Samantha Nichols, a Waimea High School senior, signed her letter of intent Friday to play golf for Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, just a few hours ahead of her graduation.

Nichols was named the top girl golfer for the Kauai Interscholastic Federation, finishing the season with 86.3 average.

She advanced to the David S. Ishii Foundation girls state championships to finish in a four-way tie at a 36-hole 174 (85-89).

The Knox College Prairie Fire women’s golf team started as a club in 1993 and was one of the leaders in getting conference status for the sport. The Prairie Fire won its very first Midwest Conference championship in 1996 and has gone on to claim four titles since then.

The Midwest Conference offers an automatic qualifier to the NCAA National Tournament, which provides Knox golfers an opportunity to compete at the highest level of Division III competition.

Knox College women’s golf qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships in 2000, finishing ninth in the country.

Nichols becomes the second KIF all-star to indicate her intention of playing golf at the college level. Earlier in the year, Trevor Kua of Kauai High School, the boys’ top golfer with a 74.3 average, indicated he would continue with golf for the University of Hawaii-Hilo.

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