New Kensington golfer Adam Stawski wins conference championship

Penn State New Kensington junior Adam Stawski (Plum) shot a 2-over 74 for a two-round total of 152 (78-74) to win the Penn State University Athletic Conference individual title at the Penn State Blue Course in State College, Pa.

Stawski came back from a three-shot, first-round deficit with a 1-under 35 on the back nine (his front nine), that included an eagle at the par-5 18th. The PSUAC crown avenged his runner-up finish as a freshman in 2009.

As a team, the New Kensington Lions held on to third place in the eight-team conference championships, 12 strokes behind second-place Penn College (339-339-678). Penn State Mont Alto won the title with a 313-336-649 tally.

Sophomore Ben Hammel (Riverview) carded an 85-84-169 to finish in eighth place and join Stawski on the PSUAC ALL-Conference team. Senior Matt Schrader (West Shamokin) shot 82-92-174. Freshman Corey Boback (Hempfield) shot his collegiate-best 92 in the final round to secure third place for New Kensington at 348-342-690. During the regular season, New Kensington could muster a finish of no better than fifth in three conference tournaments.

“The team improved as the season progressed, and all four players shot their best rounds of the year at championships,” said Bill Woodard, in his 11th-year as head coach at New Kensington. “Consistency is the hallmark of Adam's game, and he played to his potential.”

The United States Collegiate Athletic Association national championships ran concurrent with the PSUAC tournament. Stawski finished fifth nationally, eight strokes behind the victor, Kyle Kapturowsk of Daemen (NY) College, 75-69-144, and earning USCAA All-America honors for the second time. He was fourth in the 2009 tournament. In addition to his golfing prowess, Stawski was named to the USCAA Academic All-America team, completing a rare All-America double. Then New Kensington Lions finished 12th-nationally in the 23-team field. Daemen took the first-place trophy with a 304-301-605.

"I know that the guys are a little disappointed in their own efforts, thinking they could have scored better, but I'm proud of what they did in the tournament and throughout the year,” said Woodard, who is the alumni and public relations specialist at the campus. “My assistant coach, John Mandak, worked with them all season, and his efforts came to fruition as the players responded when it counted most.”

Stawski is the second New Kensington player the win the PSUAC individual golf title. John Hook won the 2007 crown. Stawski is the second USCAA All-America golf selection with Matt Miller earning the honor in 2008. Stawski and Jeremy Hurt (men’s basketball, 2007-08) are the only New Kensington student-athletes to garner both USCAA All-America and Academic All-America in the same season.

The USCAA is a national organization that is geared to provide athletic opportunities to small colleges — those with enrollments of less than 2,500. It sponsors 11 national championship tournaments in men's and women's sports. Established in 2001, the USCAA was incorporated to provide an opportunity for members to compete on an equal level of competition with schools of similar size and athletic programs. Headquartered in Newport News, Va., the organization has more than 82 member institutions in 24 states, stretching from Maine to California.

Penn State New Kensington junior Adam Stawski (Plum) shot a 2-over 74 for a two-round total of 152 (78-74) to win the Penn State University Athletic Conference individual title at the Penn State Blue Course in State College, Pa.

For final scores and standings of the PSUAC and USCAA tournaments, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/44963.htm

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Last Updated October 11, 2012