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Trojans golf comeback: Men’s team finishes fourth in championship; women finish fifth

In their first season in almost 20 years, the SAIT golf team had a rocky, but respectable, showing.

At the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championships at Alberta Springs Golf Course in Red Deer, the men’s team finished in a tie for fourth of seven teams, while the women finished fifth of six teams.

The team first competed in the North Regional tournament, at the Lac La Biche Golf Club located northeast of Edmonton from Sept. 15-16.

Head coach Stephen Yanitski believes the team kept their “competitive edge” during this tournament despite unpleasant gusts of wind, sleet, and temperatures hovering around one or two degrees.

“Any time I saw any players out on the golf course they still stayed focused, which is difficult to do in those conditions,” Yanitski said.

The competitive edge the team preserved gave Yanitski hope for their team’s future.

He said that the team maintaining their composure will hopefully make them one of the better teams in the conference next year.

The men’s team placed fourth in the North Regionals, while the women’s team was discounted from the standings due to a player, Danica Ferris, withdrawing after the first round due to a hand injury.

The North Regional tournament was the first college golf tournament for a lot of players, and Yanitski said that managing nerves in the early stages needs improvement.

He said he was satisfied with the tournament results, and that it was a “good one to build off of.”

The coach is well pleased with player expectations. He admires their work and practice habits, and expressed that he has seen individual improvement in everyone so far. But that’s not enough.

“All in all, they’ve definitely met expectations, we just need to translate a little bit more into some tournament success,” he said.

The team’s next tournament, the South Regional tournament at the Mill Woods Golf Club in Edmonton, was cancelled because of snowfall. The tournament wasn’t rescheduled because of how tight the season is.

Because of this cancellation, the Trojans moved straight into the ACAC Championships from Sept. 29-30.

In preparation for the final tournament, Yanitski stated that he would simulate as many scenarios as possible for the team, to guarantee better results.

Yanitski’s team never stops grinding. Instead of warming up in Edmonton, where the cancelled tournament was, the team had a competitive round at their home course, Valley Ridge Golf Club.

The biggest factor to work on, according to Yanitski, was “staying competitive, staying focused, and putting ourselves into as many tournament situations and tournament scenarios as possible.”

The top women’s player in Red Deer was Tashel Scantlebury, who also plays on the Trojans women’s hockey team. She finished 13th with a +57 score.

The top men’s player was Austin Trout, who finished 30th with a +31 score.

MacEwan University won their fourth ACAC men’s championship in six years, while Medicine Hat College took the women’s title.

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