Gannon gets just desserts at Hershey

The Gannon University women’s golf team was in Hershey on Saturday and Sunday for the 2011 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championships, but it brought back something sweeter than chocolate.

The Knights, led by sophomore medalist Amanda Teodorsson, came home as the proud 2011 PSAC champions.

Teodorsson shot rounds of 76 and 77 and took home first-place honors. She finished five strokes ahead of her friend and roommate Bhanisha Nagindas, who shot rounds of 78 and 80 and tied for second overall with Maria Lopez of California University of Pennsylvania.

Teodorsson said she approached each day with her focus on the competition, not the location.

“I compete with other players, not the course,” she said.

Gannon coach Jason Willow said he was thrilled with the outcome, especially given the poor weather that his team endured. Teodorsson said she tried to make the best of the conditions.

“Everyone was struggling,” she said. “I tried to tell myself I’m used to this weather.”

Willow also said he left Hershey with a sense of relief as the Knights were able to beat Cal with 13 strokes to spare.

“It’s nice to get the monkey off our back,” Willow said.

The Knights have been particularly unlucky against Cal in recent matchups, as they haven’t been able to knock off their conference rival in the past two years.

Willow also said he was pleased with the fact that Gannon brought home all the major awards from the event. In addition to the team title and Teodorsson’s individual honors, senior Kelly Nickerson also received the Champion Scholar Award.

Nickerson, who tied for eighth with teammate Saskina Merz, received the award after earning a 4.0 GPA as a senior sport and exercise science major.

Willow said he thought the fact that Gannon captured all the major awards was a testament to the hard work the Knights have put in on the course and in the classroom.

Kiersten Klekner-Alt also contributed to the championship effort with an impressive first round of 78 and a total of 160, which earned fifth-place honors.

Although she tied for second overall, Nagindas said nothing was working well, and that she was forced to just “grind” and focus on each shot.

Despite the weather, the friends and roommates, Teodorsson and Nagindas, were able to keep each other composed enough for first- and second-place efforts. This was due in part to a motto that they adopted early in the weekend.

“In the beginning, we hugged and said, ‘fight for every stroke,’” Nagindas said.

The Lady Knights will conclude the 2011 season at the Grand Valley invitational on Saturday and Sunday.

ALEX WOMER

[email protected]ts.gannon.edu