Nov. 17, 2008
IOWA CITY, IA — Kristi Cardwell and Gigi DiGrazia signed a National Letter of Intent today to attend the University of Iowa as women’s golf student-athletes. Head Coach Kelly Crawford and the Hawkeyes will welcome the Indiana and Illinois natives in the fall of 2009.
“We’re looking for Kristi and Gigi to come in a play hard right away. Right now we want to take our team in a new direction that includes consistency and I think these girls will be very helpful in that route. Kristi is going to be a long ball hitter for us and Gigi has already said she wants to come in and compete right away for a top spot, which is exciting since we will be losing two seniors and our number one golfer,” Head Coach Kelly Crawford said of her two signees.
Cardwell was a three-time Kokomo High School team MVP, All-NCC Conference, two-time Conference Low Medalist, and the first golfer for the Kokomo girl’s team to go to state all four years of her high school career. She now holds nine of the 10 individual records for the KHS golf team. Cardwell’s best individual placing at state was fifth after carding a 149 in 2008.
Accomplishments for the incoming Hawkeye include being named Indiana’s Top Female Pepsi Junior Golfer of the Year in 2008, winning the Indiana Girls State Junior 2008 at Harrison Lakes, numerous top 15 finishes in junior tournaments with the Pepsi Indiana Golf and IWGA, FCWT, PJGT and AJGA programs, Lowest Medalist PJGT Batavia, OH course record, Howard County Jr. Champion in 2007 and 2008, and a spot in the Top Five Little Peoples Championship in 2008.
Cardwell is from Noblesville, IN, born on April 7, 1991. Her parents are Byron and Jill Cardwell. Her sister Kylie is a sophomore at IUPUI and brother Nick is a sophomore at Kokomo High School. Andy Carpenter was the head coach for the Kokomo girls’ golf team and Cary Hungate, Club Pro at Kokomo Country Club, was her swing coach.
DiGrazia is the reigning Class A State Champion in Illinois for girl’s golf. She carded her career low 65 in her senior year. She was a four-time state qualifier with second, seventh and 16th place finishes in addition to her champion title in 2008. She is a three-time all-state team and all-conference team. She earned her placement in the conference and as the boy’s golf team captain her junior and senior years because her school did not have a girl’s golf team. DiGrazia competed in a number of AJGA tournaments, winning the 2006 NIKE Jr. event at the Quad Cities. Others include the 2006 Junior World, 2006 NIKE Golf Junior Championship, Plantations Tournament of Champions in 2006-2008, 2007 AJGA Rolex Girls Junior, AJGA McDonalds Invitational, USGA Girls Junior and Women’s Publinks all in 2008. She was also named to the 2006 AJGA Nike Junior All-Star team. She had four top-ten finishes, which include a runner up finish. The Hawkeye newcomer is ranked 34th, nationally, among the 2009 graduates in the AJGA Polo Golf Rankings.
Academic accomplishments for the Iowa golfer include four-time academic all-conference selection and a member of the National Honor Society. She is also a multi-sport athlete and was named twice the all-conference team for basketball and was a two-time state finalist for 3-point shooting. DiGrazia is from Addison, IL, born on July 7, 1991. Her parents are Tony and Judy DiGrazia, sister Lisa and brother Anthony.
Gigi DiGrazia is the reigning girl’s golf Illinois Class A State Champion.
Crawford says, “They are both very athletic and have the great character we want on our team. Both girls are very good people and that all-around person is what is going to help team cohesion and competition. Once the team is on that track they can be competitive in any tournament.”