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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 401-874-7892

URI students excel at national Turf Bowl Competition
tests teams on science of grass

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 17, 2003 -- In a true turf war, one of three teams of students from the University of Rhode Island chapter of the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America (GCSAA) placed tenth among 73 teams at the national Collegiate Turf Bowl competition last month in Atlanta.

According to team adviser W. Michael Sullivan, URI professor 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.

"We were the smallest school in the top ten," said Sullivan, who noted that "the winning schools were all more than five times larger than URI. All in all, I’m very proud of our team. They represented the university and the department well."

The URI team that placed tenth consisted of Matthew DiZazzo of Pelham, N.H.; Jeff Gennarelli of Hawthorne, N.Y.; Jamie Medeiros of Warren; and Derik Lundin of Bridgewater, Mass. Other URI participants included Anthony Gilberti of Westford, Mass.; Richard Duggan of Wakefield; Jerry Bonner of North Smithfield; Dan Cook of Jamestown; Zack Schnip of Norwich, Conn.; and Michael Galvin of Westwood, Mass.

Participants for the competition were selected based on their scores on a pretest administered at URI. Competitors were then required to raise approximately $6,000 to pay their way to the event.

In addition to Sullivan, the team was guided by URI professors Steven Alm, Noel Jackson and Nathaniel Mitkowski.

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.

For Further Information: W. Michael Sullivan 401-874-4540

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