Former Sewickley Academy golfers earn conference honors
Sewickley Academy graduate and Carnegie Mellon men’s golfer Jason Li proved the Rookie of the Year award he received from the University Athletic Association last season was no fluke.
Li, a sophomore, recently earned all-UAA first team honors and was named the conference’s co-player of the year.
Li won both of his rounds at the UAA championship in March in Florida. He finished the season with a team-best average of 72.5 after 21 rounds and tied for the school record with a 4-under-par 67 in a tournament in Ohio.
He posted four rounds under 70. Eight of his rounds were under par.
Li, a Sewickley resident, said he does not strive for recognition.
“I try to focus on what I can control,” he said.
The WPIAL and PIAA Class AA individual champion at Sewickley Academy hopes to be a national champion. The Tartans, who placed second of four teams in the UAA tournament, received a bid to the NCAA Division III championship May 14-17 in Kentucky.
“Jason has the game to be a national champion,” Carnegie Mellon coach Dan Rodgers said. “So much of it is timing, and Jason is playing really well right now.
“The golf course in Kentucky sets up very well for him.”
Li was one of two former Sewickley Academy players to be honored as a member of a Division III team.
Declan Hickton, a Rochester sophomore, earned the distinction of being named athlete-performer of the week in two conferences, UAA and Liberty League, following his performance at the Fred Kravetz Invitational in April in New York.
Hickton carded rounds of 74 and 76 to tie for medalist honors. The 74 tied for his lowest round of the season.
He led the 39-player field with eight birdies over two rounds.
Later, he helped the Yellowjackets to second place among seven teams at the Liberty League championship.
“I am really just working on improving consistency and the mental game,” said Hickton, who grew up in Thornburg.
“Declan has had some great moments this year,” Rochester coach Dan Wesley said. “His focus over the summer will be on consistency and tightening up the misses.”
Wesley said the 6-foot-5 Hickton needs to keep his core and posture in check.
“With a frame like he has, the club travels a long way before it returns to the ball,” Wesley said.
Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.