LAC LA BICHE, ALTA., (Sept. 16, 2018) — The SAIT Trojans golf team returned to Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) action for the first time in nearly 20 years, and were met with some tough conditions.
Battling through weather that featured a bit of snow, a bit of rain and a whole lot of cold, the Trojans men’s golf team combined to place fourth out of seven teams at the ACAC’s North Regional hosted by Portage College at Lac La Biche Golf and Country Club in Lac La Biche, Alta.
“The message coming out of this weekend is now we have seen what it takes and what kind of numbers will be needed to be No. 1,” said Trojans head coach, Stephen Yanitski. “We’re just going to focus on raising the bar higher and higher.”
SAIT’s Athletics Program brought back golf this season after last competing in the ACAC in the 2001/02 season.
Of the four men that had their scores count towards the team event this weekend, Will Gretton (1st year, Calgary, Radio Television and Broadcast News) finished the best with a fifth-place showing, two-day score of 161, 12 shots back of the first-place finishing Michael Harrison of the University of Alberta-Augustana.
“Will had a tougher Day 2 today, but he’s emerging as a leader and a go-to guy on the course for us,” said Yanitski added.
Aydan Desjarlais (1st year, Cold Lake, Alta., Power Engineering Technology) finished right behind Gretton in a tie for sixth-place (163) on a weekend where he turned 18-years-old.
The highlight of the weekend came from Trojans golfer Jordan Taylor, who recorded his first-ever hole-in-one on Saturday, acing the 166-yard, Par 3 eighth hole with a 9-iron.
Overall, the Trojans men’s team finished a total of 24 shots behind the first place MacEwan University Griffins, 23 behind second place Concordia University of Edmonton, and 14 shots behind third place Red Deer College.
“Of all the teams in attendance this weekend, I do believe we have the most potential to go lower compared to what our number was this weekend, which I am looking at as a positive,” Yanitski added. “It was an introduction to post-secondary golf for a lot of our guys, and now that we’re broken in, we expect to get better as the season goes on.”
On the women’s side, the Trojans sent just two of three members up north. Tashel Scantlebury (4th year, Fox Warren, Man., Civil Engineering Technology) was SAIT’s top finisher, placing 11th out of 21 competitors – pretty impressive considering she is a member of the Trojans women’s hockey team who decided to add golf to her plate.
Danica Ferris (2nd year, Calgary, Radio Television Broadcast News) unfortunately had to withdraw during Sunday’s round due to a minor injury.
Overall, Yanitski was pleased with what he saw, and thinks once fellow hockey player Karmen Mooney (4th year, Squamish, BC, Bachelor of Science – Construction Project Management) joins the fold next weekend, his women’s team should put together some numbers that impress.
“Tash and Danica played very well this weekend despite not having much tournament experience,” he said. “They were able to step in and really hang in around the middle of the pack through tough conditions on a tough golf course.”
Next up for the Trojans golf team is the ACAC South Regional, hosted by Concordia University of Edmonton at Mill Woods Golf Course.
“We’re looking to build off this fourth-place finish this weekend on a course suited for our big hitters,” stated Yanitski. “With our first tournament now under our belt, we will be striving to climb the standings and have a strong showing.”