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March AmbrozeZine Sports Page

March 2013

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The Fighting Bees men's and women's golf squads hit the golf course during last week's annual spring trips with a little less rust in their putting strokes.

Despite a snowy and cold Midwest winter, St. Ambrose golfers got in some pre-break work on their strokes as well as their chipping games, thanks to a state-of-the-art synthetic putting surface newly installed at the Ambrose Dome.

The green was manufactured by Southwest Greens and installed under the watchful eye of local sales representative Mike Long '78, who said the surface installed in the southwest corner of the dome represents the newest technology in synthetic practice golf turf.

The key is that it is top-dressed with fine silica sand, which allows the surface to be compressed in order to mimic the quicker speeds Bees golfers found in California and Florida last week. The sand-filled surface also gave players the ability to practice short-game shots and have them spin and react as they would on a natural surface.

"It is so similar to actually chipping onto a real green outside, I hardly notice I am inside," said Stephen Wilson, a first-year men's golfer from St. Louis. "Your ball can check and you can have it release the way you would have it do on a real green. It's incredible."

Unlike many synthetic surfaces, the new turf also gave his golfers the feel for putting speeds they can expect to encounter outdoors, said men's coach Jeff Griebel '76.

Griebel said the improved winter practice area already has helped to recruit five Quad City area high school seniors to St. Ambrose next year, and Wilson certainly understands why.

Wilson also said the team should be a few steps ahead of regional competitors this spring. "It is an invaluable asset for us," he said. "To be able to practice when in the northern Midwest when there is snow and cold is a significant advantage. "

  • The St. Ambrose men's bowling team will compete for a second straight year in the Intercollegiate Team Championships next month in Lincoln, Neb. The Bees earned one of 16 spots in the field with a third-place finish at a sectional qualifying meet near St. Louis earlier this month. Freshman Joe Kopera finished second individually at the sectional and will vie in the 24-player singles championship field in Nebraska.
  • Senior women's basketball player Samantha Saladino earned third-team All-American honors. She averaged 13.9 points per game and 7.3 rebounds for the 24-7 Queen Bees, who narrowly missed a berth in the NAIA National Tournament after falling 63-57 to Grand View in the Midwest Collegiate Conference championship game in late February. Saladino was joined on the all-league first team by junior Lauren Cash. Katie Jensen and Ashley Dexter received all-league honorable mention.
  • Sophomore Nick Frazier earned all-conference honors for a second straight season and sophomore Darren Galloway, who did not play a year ago, became the third Fighting Bees men's basketball player to win MCC Newcomer of the Year honors in the past four seasons. Senior Justin Blondell was an honorable mention all-league pick.
  • Led by the fifth All-American finish of senior John Darmody's SAU career and school record efforts from John Warren in the men's 600 meters, Naomi Patmchak in the women's triple jump and the women's 4X800 relay, the SAU track teams enjoyed a stellar three days at the NAIA Indoor National Championships in Geneva, Ohio.

Read more about SAU athletics.


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