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Polish freshman leads Belles in tourney debut

Meaghan Veselik | Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Freshman Martyna Mierzwa may be a long way from home, but nothing could stop her as she led the Saint Mary’s golf team to a second place finish in their first invitational last weekend.

The Ponzan, Poland, native tore up the course last Saturday and Sunday to start off the season with a two-day finish of 155, tying her for third place.

Shooting a 76 the first day and coming back with a 79 the second, Mierzwa stood out as the lead freshman in the four-team tournament. Mierzwa tied University of Indianapolis individuals Megan Kiley and Lauren Vogt for the third place title, only two strokes behind Indianapolis’s Sarah Prascsak’s second place finish. Greyhound junior and 2009 D-II Individual Champion Lyndsay McBride was only seven strokes ahead of the freshman Belle to win the invitational overall.

Saint Mary’s coach Mark Hamilton heard about Mierzwa through a friend of a friend on the golfing scene, and brought her to play for Saint Mary’s. Even as one of the newest additions to the team, Mierzwa has definitely stood out.

“It’s a little early, but things have been going very well so far,” Hamilton said. “She’s been learning a lot from the other girls, and vice versa.”

Mierzwa isn’t new to the competitive golf scene, however. She has already made her mark in Poland on the golf course as a two-time national women’s amateur champion.

“No doubt she is a great player, and definitely has that competitive drive,” Hamilton said. “I think she’ll learn how to play college golf from our team. She’s a great addition to a good squad we already have.”

The Belles have been showing their strength the last few years on the conference and national stage. Finishing second in the MIAA last fall, they came out strong in the spring and finished 10th at the NCAA Championships. However, for Hamilton and his Belles team, second in the conference isn’t good enough.

“Our fall goal is always to win the MIAA championship which has eluded us the last three years,” Hamilton said. “We want to position ourselves well again for the National Championship in the spring.

“We want to learn not how to just be a good team, but a great team.”