KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 5, 2001 -- Student members of the University of Rhode Island chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) competed in the national Collegiate Turf Bowl competition last month in Dallas, Tex. Fifty-three universities entered 61 student teams in the competition, and URI teams placed fourth, fourteenth and twenty-fourth.
According to team adviser W. Michael Sullivan, professor and chairman of the URI Department of Plant Sciences, the competition consists of "a rather brutal exam that involves broad professional knowledge" of turf growth and development, soil fertility, environmental stewardship, mathematics, and pesticide chemistry. In addition, a practical component of the exam required the identification of numerous plants, insects and diseases.
The URI team that placed fourth consisted of Benjamin Miranda of Barrington, R.I.; David Vetelino of Rockland, Mass.; Christopher Gould of Stow, Mass.; and John Rourke of Coventry, R.I.. Placing fourteenth in the competition was the team of Matthew Dizazzo of Pelham, N.H.; Jeffrey Gennarelli of Hawthorne, N.Y.; Patrick Quinlan of Clifton, N.J.; and Ryan Sullivan of Wareham, Mass. The twenty-fourth place team included Anthony Gilberti of Westford, Mass.; Derik Lundin of Bridgewater, Mass.; and Jamie Medeiros of Warren, R.I.
Participants for the competition were selected based on their scores on a pretest administered at URI. Competitors were then required to raise approximately $5,000 to pay their way to the event. Additional funding came from an endowed scholarship established by Mort and Ruth Grossman, owners of Wayne Seed Co. in Providence.
"Im extremely proud of how well they did at this competition," said Sullivan. "This speaks phenomenally well of our program and our students. They represented the university and the department well."
In addition to Sullivan, the team was also guided by URI professors Steven Alm, Noel Jackson, Brian Maynard and Bridget Ruemmele.
The event was held in conjunction with the GCSAA international convention and in cooperation with the U.S. Golf Association, the Golf Course Architects Association, the North American Turf Grass Breeders Association, the Golf Course Owners Association, and the American Irrigation Association.