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WARWICK, R.I. – Johnson & Wales University (RI) followed up its impressive Saturday Day One showing by shooting a team score of 304 on Sunday to lay claim to the 2017 GNAC Men's Golf Championship at Valley Country Club in Warwick, R.I. The Wildcats' final total of 601 was 19 strokes ahead of runner-up Rhode Island College (620), which hosted this year's two-day event and had won five of the last six league championships.

Emmanuel finished eighth in the championship field with a two-day total of 684. After combingingfor a 354 on Day 1, the Saints shed 24 strokes on Day 2 to come in with a 330 and combined for 684 overall.

JWU sophomore Christian Maselli led the field with a 143 to earn medalist honors and as a result was named the GNAC Player of the Year. Freshman teammate Ryan Malloy finished 10th overall with a 154, and as the highest first-year finisher, was named the GNAC Rookie of the Year for his performance at Valley. 

Joining Maselli on the 2017 All-Conference Team were University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior Jackson Mitchell (72-76--148), RIC senior Austin Cilley (77-72--149), Worcester State University senior Mike Jezierski(74-76--150) and University of Southern Maine sophomore Tristan Dundas (76-74--150). 

Maselli's performance marked the first time a student-athlete had finished under par in GNAC Championship history. The conference record helps JWU earn an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Tournament next spring. The Wildcats' five-man lineup over the weekend boasted three freshmen and two sophomores. JWU sophomore Alex Parente finished tied for eighth with a 153, while freshmen Claudio Soukamneuth and Adam Ely shot a 156 and 158, respectively.

For Emmanuel, senior Colin Cordero (Bolton, Conn.) finished in 32nd place with a two-day total of 168 (87-81). Sophomore Jack Scavone (Auburn, Mass.) and junior Anthony Springthorpe (Swampscott, Mass.) tied for 33rd with 172 as Scavone rebounded from a 93 Day 1 score to a 79 on Day 2 for the low round in the field for Emmanuel. Springthorpe posted an 87 and 85.  Sophomore Taylor Kieselback (Simsbury, Conn.) finished in 36th with an 89 and 85 while junior David Byrne (Newport, R.I.) posted scores of 91 and 89 for a 180 which was good for 37th place.

GNAC golfers will now prepare for next week's NEIGA Championships in Brewster, Mass. on October 22-23. 

Medalist/Golfer of the Year – Christian Maselli, Johnson & Wales
Rookie of the Year – Ryan Malloy, Johnson & Wales

GNAC All-Conference Team (lowest five scores)
Christian Maselli, Johnson & Wales
Jackson Mitchell, UMass Dartmouth
Austin Cilley, Rhode Island College
Tristan Dundas, Southern Maine
Mike Jezierski, Worcester State

Final Team Standings
1. Johnson & Wales - RI 297 304 601 +25
2. Rhode Island College 308 312 620 +44
T3. MA - Dartmouth 311 310 621 +45
T3. St. Joseph's - ME 316 305 621 +45
5. University of Southern Maine 319 307 626 +50
6. Suffolk University 312 328 640 +64
7. Worcester State Univ. 343 319 662 +86
8. Emmanuel College(MA) 354 330 684 +108
9. Albertus Magnus College 376 373 749 +173

*Release courtesy of GNAC Communications Office