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PRESTONBURG, Ky. - Indiana University East redshirt freshman Joey Smart was named Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Golf Player of the Year at the conclusion of the KIAC Championships April 27.
Smart (Brookville, Ind./Morehead State University) finished one stroke out of first place in the KIAC Championships with a 54-hole score of 230 on the par 72, 7,011-yard StoneCrest Golf Course.
The KIAC Player of the Year is determined by scores during the regular season and KIAC Championships. Smart is IU East's first KIAC Men's Golf Player of the Year since Mark Bevins in 2008.
"Joey's steady play and years of practice, study and dedication propelled him to the top of the KIAC," said IU East coach Von Ebeling.
IU East finished third in the KIAC tournament team standings with a 54-hole score of 951.
Brescia University won the tournament for the fourth consecutive year with a team score of 937.
The Red Wolves were just one shot behind runner-up Asbury University.
"This team of all freshmen experienced its first 54-hole round of collegiate golf and competed well," Ebeling said. "Playing 27 holes each day of this tournament showed them they have what it takes. Of course they all made mistakes here and there, but each player was resilient in his own way and kept playing hard."
"Once again Brescia shot lights out to run away with first place, but it was exciting entering round three anticipating taking second place. It shows how competitive our six-team conference is in the middle."
Jordan Leisinger of Cincinnati Christian University was KIAC Championships medalist with a 229.
The team champion and individual medalist advance to the NAIA Men's Golf National Championship May 22-25 at Creekside Country Club in Salem, Oreg.
IU East freshman Luke Warren (Vallonia, Ind./Brownstown Central High School) joined Smart on the all-conference team. Warren shot 235 at the KIAC Championships.
"Luke battled a hip injury for most of the spring season, but his grit and determination paid off," Ebeling said.
Smart had IU East's best individual 18-hole round of the tournament with a 73 for the second 18 holes.
Freshman Cameron Cox (Farmland, Ind./Monroe Central High School) paced the Red Wolves with a 74 in the final round.
"Cameron Cox brought his best game during round three," Ebeling said. "It took him a couple tough rounds but he finally found what he was striving for and immensely helped our team."
The KIAC Championships concluded the 2011-12 season for the IU East men's golf team.
"I'm glad to say our players were the best behaved team in this tournament and represented IU East in a positive way," Ebeling said.
"Even when we pulled into the golf course here to play our practice round, the golf pro commented that our men looked and acted like a real team."
KIAC Championships results
IU EAST - 319-316-316 - 951
Joey Smart (Brookville, Ind./Morehead State University) - 80-73-77 - 230
Luke Warren (Vallonia, Ind./Brownstown Central High School) - 77-75-83 - 235
Levi Gough (Lynn, Ind./Randolph Southern High School) - 79-83-82 - 244
Cam Brower (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll High School) - 83-85-83 - 251
Cameron Cox (Farmland, Ind./Monroe Central High School) - 96-85-74 - 255