Champion joins USF golf

David Griffin, who won the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Men’s Golf National Championship in May, has signed with USF and will play for the Bulls in the fall, USF coach Jim Fee announced Tuesday.

Griffin previously played two years at Rend Lake College in Illinois, where he was also named 2009 Male Scholar Athlete of the Year after earning a 3.94 grade point average at Rend Lake.

Griffin won this year’s national championship after a two-hole playoff at Good Pond Colony Golf Course in Scottsboro, Ala. He finished in a three-way tie after posting a score of 283 after four rounds.

“We are thrilled to have David join our golf program here at USF,” Fee said in a statement. “He is a great golfer and a tremendous student. We wanted to bring in a player that has a track record of winning, and he has that.”

Wagner leads freshmen group

Four USF freshmen put their talents on display this weekend at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Oregon campus in Eugene.

The University of Oregon’s track and field facilities have been nicknamed “Track Town USA” and are considered one of the top venues in the country.

USF’s Casey Wagner took advantage of the opportunity Saturday, placing first in the javelin with a throw of 150 feet. She became the first junior national champion in USF

“I’ve never seen anything like that before, but I enjoyed being in front of a large audience,” she said.

Wagner’s win qualifies her for the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, which will be held in Trinidad and Tobago from July 31 through Aug. 2.

USF’s Jared Thomas broke his own school record with a throw of 185-10 feet Saturday and finished fifth overall in the javelin, missing the Pan American competition.

“I wanted to go to Trinidad,” he said. “I was throwing too high, which hurt my distance.”

The fifth place finish earned him All-American honors, though.

“It feels good to be an All-American so soon, but I would rather have won the Big East,” Thomas said. “I have my goals for next year.”

USF’s Atasha Warren finished 14th with a throw of 44-6.75 feet in the shot put on Friday, and Allie Prendergast finished eighth place in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:39.71 Sunday.

Former USF track star advances to world championships

USF graduate Damu Cherry finished third in the 100-meter hurdles at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene on Sunday and advanced to August’s IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

Cherry had a time of 12.58 seconds, losing by only .22 seconds to first-place finisher Dawn Harper, who also took first in the 2008 Olympic Games.

Cherry also competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and had a fourth-place finish.

Bulls receiving honors

USF guard Dominique Jones was named Polk County College Athlete of the year by the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Jones led the Bulls in points, rebounds and minutes played last season.

On the baseball diamond, freshmen Sam Mende and Todd Brazeal were named to the 2009 Baseball America Freshman All-America second team Tuesday.

Mende started all 59 games and was fourth on the team with a .319 average last year. He went 11-17 in the Big East conference tournament.

Brazeal led USF in RBI with 50.

Former soccer standout goes pro

Kevon Neaves signed a professional contract with Koping FF, a Swedish second division club.

Neaves, a midfielder from Trinidad and Tobago, was with the Bulls from 2005-08. Last year, he was a first-team all-Big East selection.

Neaves joins former teammates Jordan Seabrook and Yohance Marshall in the
professional ranks. Seabrook is a member of USL second division squad Crystal Palace USA and Marshall plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy.