Carlow University golfer Natalie Abt made school history and won the USCAA Golf National Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Abt, a sophomore from Glenshaw, Pa. and a graduate of Shaler Area High School, is the first individual or team in Carlow history to win any athletic event at the national level.
Abt was also named the USCAA Women’s Golf Student-Athlete of the Year, an award that honors athletic achievement, academic achievement and community service.
The two-day national tournament tournament was played at the Penn State Blue Course, in State College, Pa. The women’s competition was played on a par-72, 6,605-yard course. Other competitors represented Cleary University, SUNY Canton, SUNY Delhi and St. Mary of the Woods.
Abt put herself into contention with an excellent first round Monday. She scored a 6-over 78, six strokes ahead of the nearest competitor, Virginia Gilton, of Cleary.
On the second day of competition, Abt scored an 82, finishing with a two-round score of 160. Gilton finished as the runner-up, six strokes behind Abt, with a 166.
Abt, a double major in accounting and forensic accounting with a 3.98 GPA, was the first-ever Carlow golfer, helping establish the new program when it began in 2016-17. Before the USCAA National Championship, she had won two events and finished in the top three in four more events in her career.
Abt is an active member of Business Leaders of Carlow (BLOC) and she is the Carlow golf team's representative to the Student Athlete Association. She has volunteered at The First Tee of Pittsburgh, an international youth development organization introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people, for the past five years.
Abt is the third women’s golf champion in the history of the USCAA, which held its first championship in the sport in 2015-16.
Prior to Abt’s perfomance, the best finish at the national level for Carlow athletics was in 2016 when the Celtics softball team finished second at the USCAA National Championship.