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Maryland women’s golf’s Virunpat Olankitkunchai advances to NCAA Championships

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This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Maryland women’s golf’s Virunpat Olankikunchai is heading to the NCAA Championship, making a trip no one in program history has taken before. The sophomore secured her place in Terps history with a share of third place at the NCAA Regional in Auburn.

Olankikunchai qualified individually with the second-best finish of players whose teams didn’t advance, finishing in a three-way tie for third place at three-under par. Maryland finished seventh as a team, as Vanderbilt, Florida State, Duke, Virginia, Auburn and Tennessee occupied the top six and advanced to nationals.

Olankikunchai held a share of the lead after the first two rounds of the regional, but was overtaken on the final day. Only Murray State’s Linette Holmslykke had a better individual finish of players whose teams finished outside the top six, placing solo second at five-under par.

The Terps were competing in their first NCAA Tournament since 2012 and played it even on the final day to move up a place, but just missed a team appearance. Olankitkutchai will represent Maryland on her own at the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from May 17-22.

In other news

Women’s lacrosse is also preparing for a NCAA Tournament run after losing its first game of the season to Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament final.

Men’s basketball’s Bruno Fernando is heading back to the combine for the second straight year, but this time the emphasis should be on his interviews.

Softball’s season is in the books, and while the Terps showed flashes, it was ultimately another losing season.

Softball’s Sammie Stefan and Micaela Abbatine were both honored by the conference Wednesday, with Stefan being named second team all-conference and Abbatine earning a defensive team nod.

Derwin Gray became the second Maryland football draftee to sign a contract, inking a four-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday.

Former Terp and April’s AL Rookie of the Month Brandon Lowe joined MLB Network’s The Rundown to talk about the extension he signed with Tampa Bay.

Big Ten Network’s Alex Roux had men’s basketball’s Eric Ayala on his podcast this week to talk about Ayala’s background and the Terps.