The 19th annual GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition presented in partnership with John Deere took place Thursday morning at GCSAA’s Education Conference in San Diego. Two-hundred forty-seven students divided into 68 teams representing 35 schools took part in the competition.
Despite some last-minute review at breakfast, perennial favorite Iowa State fell to fifth place, while University of Massachusetts--Amherst Team No.40 (Peter White, Evan Bradstreet, Kevin Shewmaker, Sean Raposa) ascended to the first-place position earning $4,000 in prize money and a trip to TPC Sawgrass National Championship courtesy of John Deere. After stunning the field by taking third place in 2010 (UMass had not been in the top 10 in recent memory), teams from UMass went on to take second place in 2011 and third place in 2012 before garnering top honors for 2013.
There was plenty of joy in Amherst and in San Diego as Professor Pat Vittum embraced the students and her friends, and the students embraced each other. Assistant Professor Michelle Da Costa, who has mentored the student teams over the last few years was unable to attend GIS this year, but she was notified immediately of the team’s victory.
The relatively laid-back University of Arkansas team with faculty member Doug Karcher placed second in the competition.
The outright joy of the UMass students and faculty was matched by the two University of Maryland teams who placed third and fourth. The initial announcement of the fourth-place winners was greeted with whoops of joy, but when it was announced that Maryland had also taken third place, the students almost seemed too stunned to respond.
This year’s Turf Bowl Competition tweaked some long-standing expectations as different schools that had not been in the top 10 for some time rose to the occasion. The top 10 finishers were:
- 1st: Team 40, University of Massachusetts--Amherst—Peter White, Evan Bradstreet, Kevin Shewmaker, Sean Raposa; faculty sponsors: Michelle DaCosta, Ph.D., and Pat Vittum, Ph.D.
- 2nd: Team 67, University of Arkansas—Grant Harrison, Nathan Tompkins, Ethan Charles, William Mears
- 3rd: Team 32, University of Maryland—Josh Malnik, Brian Shepard, Roy J. Crow, Ryan Higgins
- 4th: Team 43, University of Maryland—Justin Patenaude, Scott Hosier, Brian Hogan, Brent Waite
- 5th: Team 10, Iowa State University—Casey Sheehy, Evan Alderman, Spencer Nelson, Andrew Doyle
- 6th: Team 20, Rutgers University—Kyle Genova, Nocholas Delmar, Gregory Benz, Kenneth MacNish
- 7th: Team 11, Cal Poly-Pomona: Robert Micklis, Daniel Schubert, Larry Heath, Raul Martinez
- 8th: Team 58, Colorado State University—Nick Bovino, Parker Ray, Aaron Paz, Dan Spague
- 9th: Team 54, Penn State University—Matthew Harvey, Stephen King Jr., Tyler Patton, Will McNeal
- 10th: Team 8, University of Tennessee—Jacob Reagan, Dalton Wayman, West Mackie, Cory Yurisic.