At the VIU Invitational – the fourth of four PacWest conference tournaments – the Cascades‘ Halen Davis and Sharon Park earned individual victories, finishing atop the men’s and women’s standings, respectively.
The Cascades women’s squad clinched the conference championship for the third time in four seasons, finishing 59 strokes ahead of the UBC Okanagan Heat (1,288 strokes to 1,347) in the aggregate standings through four tourneys.
UFV’s depth shone through as they swept all three PacWest women’s all-star spots for the first time in team history. Park, a rookie out of Fleetwood Park Secondary in Surrey, took the overall individual title after winning three of four events and amassing 638 strokes. Teammates Hannah Dirksen (656 strokes) and Jennifer Kell (673) finished second and third overall.
“The women’s team continued doing what they’ve been doing all year, and that’s win,” Cascades head coach Chris Bertram said. “The depth that we have on our women’s team is phenomenal. Our defending PacWest champion (Dirksen) didn’t win a tournament this season but still finished second overall, and two of her teammates (Park and Kell) won individual tourneys. It puts us in a great spot going into nationals.”
The PING CCAA Golf National Championships run Oct. 19-21 at Fox Meadow Golf Course in Charlottetown, PEI.
On the men’s side, the Cascades took PacWest silver, finishing behind the Camosun Chargers for the second straight year. UFV combined for 2,369 strokes over the course of the season, 22 back of Camosun (2,347).
Davis, a first-year Cascade from Stanwood, Wash., provided a major highlight on the weekend, shooting 69 on Saturday and 71 on Sunday to finish three strokes clear of a trio of opponents. The tourney win enabled Davis to leap from seventh to fifth in the overall individual standings (583 cumulative strokes) and claim one of five PacWest all-star spots.
Zach Olson (585 strokes) finished seventh overall, two strokes back of Davis, while Connor O’Dell (601) was 11th and Kaleb Fisher (610) tied for 13th.
“We didn’t reach our ultimate goal, which was to win the conference, but we had some very positive things happen this weekend,” Bertram said. “Halen had his best tournament of the fall so far and got his first win as a Cascade, which was great. From the team perspective, we’ve still got a bit of work to do, one through five – we still need to tighten things up. But I’m seeing some really good signs. We have two weeks to prepare (for nationals), and I don’t think we’ve peaked in terms of our results.”
Bertram brought home some hardware of his own, as he was voted the PacWest coach of the year.
It’s the fifth time Bertram has won the conference award – he previously won it in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He’ll now be up for the CCAA national coach of the year award, an accolade he’s won twice before (2013 and 2014).
In addition to the myriad team accomplishments this season listed above, Bertram has the Cascades men’s and women’s squads both ranked No. 2 in the most recent CCAA national rankings.