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Kelly Hodge

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ETSU Sports

Pugh, Meronk competing at World Amateur

October 3rd, 2012 8:18 pm by Kelly Hodge

A couple of East Tennessee State golfers are in Turkey getting ready for the World Amateur Team Championship.
Sophomore Rhys Pugh will play for Wales, while freshman Adrian Meronk will represent Poland in the three-man team competition that begins today in Antalya, Turkey.
Pugh, who won the European Amateur championship this summer, is currently No. 184 in the world amateur rankings. He played in the last team event two years ago in Argentina, and Wales finished in a tie for 21st.
“This event happens every two years, so it’s quite an honor to go play for Wales,” Pugh said in statement. “It’s tough to make the team since only three players from each country are selected, but I’ve worked very hard this summer.”
Meronk is a former Polish Junior champion and was runner-up at the Polish Amateur last year. He reached the top of the world junior rankings in 2011.
“This will be an awesome experience, because I’ll be facing the best players from each country,” he said. “It’s a big advantage to play for my country and help my team perform well.”
The finals of the 34th annual tournament are Sunday at the Antayla Golf Club, with the winner taking home the Eisenhower Trophy.
Pugh and Meronk will be back in Johnson City in time for the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club that starts next Friday. This will be the 15th year that ETSU has hosted the tournament.
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The women’s golf team blitzed the field earlier this week in Greensboro, N.C.
The Lady Bucs beat their nearest competition by 24 shots Tuesday in the UNCG Starmount Fall Classic. In the process, they set a new program record for a 54-hole score (852).
Maryland was a distant second at Starmount Country Club, while No. 20 East Carolina was 29 strokes behind and No. 17 Campbell finished 36 strokes out.
It was the 10th tournament victory for ETSU in coach Stefanie Shelton’s 10 years at the school. She sees a rising mental toughness in this group.
“Our team faced the challenge of playing with the lead and being chased, and they welcomed it,” said Shelton. “They played like champions.”
The Lady Bucs entered the final round with an eight-shot lead and then collectively shot two under par in the final round.
Junior Sian Evans posted a career-best total of 212 to finish second individually, six strokes behind F. Gustafsson Span of East Carolina.
Gabriella Wahl closed with a 3-under-par 68 – the low round of the day -- and senior Chloe Garner shot 69. They were fourth and fifth, respectively, with teammate Lourdes Lopez coming in sixth.
ETSU plays again Oct. 13 at the Hoosier Fall Invitational in Bloomington, Ind.
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Ramey Kerns broke the school record for soccer goals in a season, with her 13th in a 3-1 victory at Kennesaw State last Friday night. Erin Ashton had held the mark for the past decade.
Kerns, a junior from Kings Mountain, N.C., will likely add to her total, considering there are still five matches left in the regular season.
The Lady Bucs have stumbled a bit early in the Atlantic Sun Conference schedule. They’ve split their first four matches, including a 3-1 defeat at Mercer on Sunday, and stand at 8-4 overall. They play at South Carolina Upstate on Saturday.
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The men’s tennis team turned in a dominant performance last weekend at the Steve Baras Fall Classic in Chattanooga.
The Bucs went 20-1 in singles through the three-day tournament. Sophomore Rogerio Ribeiro won the top flight, while teammates Jorge Varon and Ricardo Pabon were also champions in their flights. Juan Ramirez and Roger Ordeig made the final in their flight, but did not contest the title.
“We tend to get beat up a lot in the fall, because we play a really rough schedule,” said Yaser Zaatini, ETSU director of tennis. “I think this was a good chance to give our guys some confidence.”
This weekend the Bucs head to Charlottesville, Va., for the UVA Fall Classic.
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Katie Hirko seems to have settled in to her first college season of cross country rather nicely.
The freshman from Oley, Pa., finished fifth in a field of 337 Saturday at the Greater Lousiville Cross Country Classic. It was the second college meet for Hirko, who was 10th in her previous outing at Virginia Tech, earning runner-of-the-week honors in the A-Sun.
Hirko’s time in the Louisville 5K was 17:57.80.
As a team, the ETSU women were 21st out of 43 teams in the field. Chelsea Clark was the closest teammate to Hirko, in 30th.
“The women all ran personal bests, and Katie Hirko continues to be a pleasant surprise leading the team for the second meet in a row,” said coach George Watts.
The ETSU men, meanwhile, were 18th in a 31-team field for the 8K race. Filip Jalovy, a sophomore from the Czech Republic, led the way with a 67th-place finish (24:54.11).
“Filip led the team for the second time this season,” said Watts, “and ran under 25:00 for the first time in his career.”
The Bucs jumped up four spots, to No. 6, in the South Region rankings this week. Florida State tops the poll, followed by Georgia, Florida, Auburn and Tennessee.

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