Kent State sports in a flash: Kent State golfers well represented in Men’s Golf Championships

Wesley Freeman

The Kent State’s Golden Flashes will be well represented at the U.S. Amateur Men’s Golf Championship. Junior Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ontario / Highland Secondary) won the event by six strokes and will be joined by seniors J.P. Paiement (Des Ruisseaux, Quebec / Polyvalente St. Joseph) and John Hahn (Las Vegas, Nev. / Hudson, Ohio) at the championship that takes place Aug. 23-27 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.

“I kept the ball in play pretty much all day,” said Hughes. “I was looking at a lot birdies or stress-free pars.”

Playing Manakiki Golf Course (par 72) in Willoughby Hills and Kirtland Country Club (par 71) in Willoughby, Hughes fired a 13-under 130 with rounds of 64 and 66 that included four eagles on the day.

Paiement, who also qualified for the U.S. Amateur last season, finished third with a 139 posting rounds of 70 and 69. Hahn (71-69) tied for fourth place with Peter Skirpstas of Medina at 140 before winning a playoff for the final qualifying spot on the fourth extra hole when he sank a 20-foot birdie putt.

The performance was particularly gratifying for Hahn who lost in a playoff at last year’s qualifier.

“I am so pumped up right now you wouldn’t believe it,” said Hahn. “This is unreal, I’ve always wanted to play in the U.S. Am.”

The Golden Flashes also had three others finish in the top 11 of the 82-man field. Senior John Furlong (Medina, Ohio / Medina) shot a 142 (71-71) to finish tied for sixth, but lost out on a tiebreaker to Thomas Clemons of Chicago, Ill., for the second alternate position. Tied for ninth was incoming freshman Correy Conners (Listowel, Ontario) (72-71). Senior Brett Cairns (Courtland, Ontario / Holy Trinty) rounded out the participants for KSU finishing tied for 11th with a 144 (71-73).

“What a great day for Kent State golf,” said Head Coach Herb Page.

Track Team named All-Academic honorees

Six members of the Kent State track and field program were named to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honorees.

Sophomore Diana Dumitrescu (Campulung, Romania/LNPA Campulung Muscel) and senior Jessica Lhotsky (Medina, Ohio/Medina Highland) garnered selection to the women’s squad, while fifth-year senior Andrew Carnes (Canton, Ohio/Jackson), sophomore Brian Florek (Matawan, N.J./Old Bridge), junior Destin Heasley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon Washington) and junior Matthew Pfleger (Garrettsville, Ohio/James A. Garfield) earned spots on the men’s team.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25, and have met either the NCAA Division I Indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard, or participated in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships (including preliminary rounds) in their respective event.

Simpson signs professional contract

Kent State forward Anthony Simpson signed his first professional contract last week. Simpson, the 2010 Mid-American Conference “Sixth-man” of the Year, signed a professional contract with the Leicester Riders of the British Basketball League.

A native of Rockford, Ill., Simpson helped lead the Golden Flashes to a MAC Championship and the N.I.T. round of 16 this past season. The 6’ 9” forward had a team high 25 dunks and averaged 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field.

“I am really looking forward to playing overseas,” said Simpson. “I am excited about having the opportunity to prove myself on the professional level and show everyone over there what I can do on the basketball court.”

Kent State Head Coach Geno Ford played for the Riders during the 1997 season. In only season with the Riders, Ford averaged 18 points per game, shot 49 percent from beyond the arc and 91 percent from the foul line to lead the BBL in both categories.

The Riders finished with a 21-15 record, placing them sixth in the 13-team BBL last year whose season runs from September to May.

Contact sports reporter Wesley Freeman at [email protected].