Kuong qualifies for US amateur golf tourneys
It has been another banner season on the links for Wellesley resident Pam Kuong, who won the New England Women’s Senior Amateur title and has qualifed for the US Women’s Senior Amateur and Mid-Amateur championships.
The 52-year-old Kuong, also named to the USGA state team with Medway’s Rita Bedard and Lisa Anderson of Middleton, was the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts Player of the Year in 2012.
Last month, she secured both spots: qualifying for the women’s senior competition with a third-place finish at Turner Hill CC in Ipswich, and a runner-up performance to earn her Mid-Am berth at Longmeadow Country Club.
“The USGA events are my number one goals every year, now my next goal is to make match play,’’ said Kuong, who has won six consecutive women’s club championships at Charles River Country Club in Newton, including this year.
Winner of the Massachusetts women’s amateur in 2008 and 2010 and the New England women’s amateur in 2011, she said playing in a USGA event “usually brings out my best.
“My short game and putting have been solid and now I’m trying to get more distance on my drives. Consistently making pars and avoiding the big numbers can go a long way,” added Kuong, a senior vice president for Bank of America.
Kuong has previously played in five US Senior Mid-Ams and two US Senior Ams and state team events.
She will tee it up at the state team tourney Sept. 17 at NCR Country Club in Dayton, Ohio; the Senior Am at CordeValle Resort Club in San Martin, Calif., on Sept. 21; and the Mid-Am (for players over age 25) at Biltmore Forest CC in Asheville, N.C., on Oct. 5.
“I’m using all my vacation time and if I make match play I won’t have another day off until Memorial Day,’’ said Kuong, who played her first round of golf in 1995 with a client, Dave Melville, at Newton’s Woodland Golf Club. “I still play with him and he reminds me that I broke 100 that day.’’
Kuong was a multisport captain at Wellesley High (class of 1979) and at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Belmont High grad turning heads on track
Haverford College rising senior Chris Stadler, the NCAA Division 3 5,000-meter indoor champion, was recently named the Division 3 Indoor Track Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Belmont High graduate’s in-season 5,000 time of 14 minutes, 23.36 seconds was the fastest in the nation. He was also honored as the Centennial Conference’s track performer of the meet at the league’s 2013 indoor championships, where he won the 3,000 and finished second in the 5,000.
Last fall, he won the individual title at the conference’s cross-country championship meet, and then earned All-America honors at the cross-country nationals. This spring he was again named All-America with a sixth-place finish in the 5,000 at the NCAA outdoor meet. He was voted the conference’s outdoor track performer of the meet after winning the 5,000 and 10,000 in conference record times.
Wellesley College student swims English Channel
Gabriela “Ika’’ Kovacikova, a rising senior at Wellesley College and a member of the school’s record-setting women’s 400-meter medley relay swim team, went just a few miles farther last month when she successfully swam the English Channel.
The Hanover, N.H., resident, who kept a blog of her yearlong training regimen, swam the 21 zig-zag miles from Dover, England, to the French coast in 11 hours 28 minutes. The average English Channel swim takes about 13 hours, and the success rate is only about 10 percent.
Family members, Wellesley’s head swimming coach, Bonnie Dix, and team members Anne Hamilton and Gabby Cooper-Vespa were there to root her on.
Here and there
Wellesley’s Brad Hartz qualified for the US Mid-Amateur golf championship with a 1-under 71 late last month at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield. Hartz took the third and final spot by one stroke. The Mid-Am will take place Oct. 5-10 at the Country Club of Birmingham in Alabama. . . . Bentley University, 8-2 last season, was picked to finish third in the Northeast-10 Conference football preseason coaches’ poll. The Falcons open their season Saturday against visiting Mercyhurst . . . The Mount Ida College football team has been tabbed the preseason favorites to win the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference for the second consecutive year, according to a conference poll. The Mustangs set a program record for wins last season, going 8-3, winning their first conference title, and made the Newton school’s first trip to the NCAA Division 3 tournament. Their season begins Friday under the lights at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth . . . Alex Cronin, assistant swimming coach at Weston High School, will direct the new Phoenix Swimming Club at Bosse Sports in Sudbury. The club will accommodate individuals from grade school through college age. Cronin was formerly head coach at MetroWest Aquatic Club in Weston . . . The Massachusetts State Track Coaches preseason high school cross-country Top 20 poll for the boys’ large school division pegs Newton North as number 2, St. John’s High (6), Wellesley (7), Needham (10), Lexington (12), Brookline (14), Lincoln-Sudbury Regional (16), and Newton South (20); for the boys’ small class, Bedford is number 8, Weston is 12, and Dover-Sherborn is 19; girls’ large: Lexington (2), Needham (3), Lincoln-Sudbury (5), Newton South (6), Newton North (7), Concord-Carlisle (8), Nashoba Regional (10), Hopkinton (15), and Franklin (18); and girls’ small: Weston (3), Dover-Sherborn (10), Arlington Catholic (12), and Holliston (15) . . . Marian High graduate Traci Walker Griffith, a Framingham native, will be inducted into the Plymouth State University Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 19. She graduated in 1991 as the all-time leading scorer for the New Hampshire school’s women’s soccer team, and she still ranks third with 43 goals and second with 116 points.