RED DEER, ALTA., (Sept. 30, 2018) — The SAIT Trojans golf team returned to Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) action this season for the first time in nearly 20 years. After this weekend, it appears they're here to stay.
The Trojans competed in the ACAC Championships this weekend in a two-day event hosted by Red Deer College at Alberta Springs Golf Course. Despite not cracking the top three in each of the men's or women's team standings, head coach Stephen Yanitski was proud of the way his team fought through the tough weather conditions that included cold, wind and snow.
"When it's sub-zero with the wind chill, getting around the course in five hours and scraping together pars the way the team did was good to see," he said. "We just ran into some pretty hot teams, and couldn't do enough to catch them in the end."
His men's side finished tied for fourth place, shooting a combined 656 – 25 shots back of Red Deer College and Concordia University of Edmonton, who tied for second at 631.
MacEwan University ran away with the men's title, firing a combined 606 to take the team title.
"We were in it until the last couple of holes," Yanitski added. "Seeing the teams that qualified for nationals and seeing the medals that were handed out has fueled the fire quite a bit for the guys that are returning next year."
The men's teams from MacEwan, Concordia and Red Deer have now qualified to take part in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championships that are being hosted by Medicine Hat College at Desert Blume Golf Club Oct. 15-19.
Individually, the Trojans men's team will await the results from other conferences across the country to see if anyone on their team will qualify for the event.
Leading the Trojans men's team this past weekend was Tanner Forman (1st year, High River, Alta., Instrumentation Engineering Technology), who put together rounds of 81 and 78 to finish tied for 12th overall in the 46-man field.
Will Gretton (1st year, Calgary, Radio Television and Broadcast News) struggled on Day 1 with an 83, but rebounded nicely on Sunday with a 77 to finish 15th.
On the women's side, the Trojans placed fifth (409) out of six teams, but made the division's biggest improvement from Day 1 to Day 2, bettering their Saturday score by nine strokes.
Tashel Scantlebury (4th year, Foxwarren, Man., Civil Engineering Technology) played a big part in that, recording a score of 93 on Sunday – 15 shots better than she fired 24 hours previous to finish 13th overall out of 20 golfers.
"It was an excellent introductory to post-secondary golf for a lot of our players, and a reasonably successful season as a whole," Yanitski said. "Next year, we'll be coming in with a number of returning players and some talented new faces. We'll take this experience and learn from it, and strive to be among the top teams for years to come."