New Kensington golfers second and third in conference championships

October 12, 2011

Penn State New Kensington sophomore Cody Dinger (West Shamokin) shot a final round 80 Monday to finish runner-up, 79-80-159, at the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) golf championships at the Penn State Blue Course in State College, Pa.

Lions sophomore Alex Baker (St. Joseph’s) posted an 84 and took third-place honors, 76-84-160, in the individual championship. Both players were named to the PSUAC All Conference team. Dinger's second-place finish was the second best PSUAC finish by a New Kensington player. John Hook won the conference individual title in 2007 and Adam Stawski was runner-up in 2009.

Dinger and Baker's conference tournament scores matched their regular season results. The pair averaged 79.6 during the year. Dinger's first round score of 79 matched his collegiate career-best and put him in fourth place overall in the PSUAC. Baker's opened the tourney with his collegiate career-best of 76 and held the first round lead A year ago, Baker edged out Dinger for the team lead in the tournament.

"The scores we posted mirrored those of the regular season," said Bill Woodard, in his 10th season as coach. "I know that the guys are disappointed in their own efforts, but I'm proud of what they did in the tournament and throughout the year."

As a team, New Kensington took fourth place in the PSUAC with a two-day total of 684. Senior Nathan Vertosic (St Joseph’s), 89-93-182 and senior Matt Knapp (Kiski Area), 96-87-183 rounded out the Lions scoring. Penn State Hazleton won the title with a 655 total. Hazelton’s Nick Tristani was medalist with 79-76-155.

In United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national golf championships that ran concurrent with the PSUAC championships, Dinger and Baker finished 16th and 17th, respectively. Tommy Stirling of Southern Maine College won the national title with a 72-68-140.

In addition to crowning its team and individual champions, the USCAA tournament committee announced its Academic All-America team. Knapp, a business administration major with a 3.95 grade-point average, earned a berth on the exclusive team. The 44-year-old Army veteran is the fourth New Kensington student-athlete and the first golfer to be recognized nationally for his academic prowess. The other Academic All America members from the campus are Christy Heasley, women's volleyball (2007), Jeremy Hurt, men's basketball (2008 and 2009) and Kayla Smail, women's volleyball (2009).

Lindenwood University won the team competition with a 303-294-597 total. New Kensington was ninth in the 15-team field.

The USCAA national golf championships featured 10 Penn State campuses and 11 teams from Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Virginia."

On the season, the team finished third in the PSUAC-West with a 9-8 record. Overall, the New Kensington Lions were 9-7.

For a list of final scores, visit online.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 14, 2011