Both the men’s and women’s teams earned national championships at the CCAA Golf National Championships at Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Whitby, Ont., marking the second time in school history to do so.
The Cascades swept both team divisions back in 2013, but this year they nearly were tops in all four categories, as Cascades golfer Daniel Campbell was the men’s champion, and UFV’s Maddie Kapchinsky earned silver after dropping the gold in a playoff round.
“It was a fun week,” said Cascades head coach Chris Bertram, who was also at the helm back in 2013. “We’ve been working really hard to grow our program and we have a vision to be the strongest program in the country. We feel like we’re making some huge strides towards that goal and I’m proud of how all of our players competed.”
The Cascades men’s team put together a clutch effort on Friday to seal the championship. They had opened a nine-stroke lead after Tuesday’s opening round, only to watch PACWEST conference rival UBC Okanagan cut it to four after Round 2 and to two after Round 3.
But on Friday, the Cascades fired a collective score of 295, the second-best team round of the week and 13 strokes better than any of their nearest five pursuers going into the day. Their four-round score of +56 was good for a 16-stroke margin ahead of runner-up UBCO (+72), with Humber (+76) taking bronze.
Campbell, a first-year Cascade who transferred to UFV from Skagit Valley College, was dominant throughout the week. The Bellingham, Wash. product carded rounds of 71, 72, 74 and 71 to finish at even par for the tournament, eight strokes ahead of UBCO’s James Casorso (+8).
“He [Campbell] was the Pacwest player of the year so we had high hopes going in for him,” Bertram said. “But he exceeded our expectations. When you win by eight shots that means you’re doing something a lot better than everyone else. He played exceptional golf – I don’t recall him hitting a bad shot all week – and to play that flawlessly is remarkable.”
UFV’s Zach Olson (+10) finished just off the podium in fourth, while Kyle Claggett placed tied for 17th overall.
There wasn’t much drama for the Cascades women’s team on Friday – they led by 22 strokes at the start of the day, and ended up winning by 21 with a combined score of 59 over par for the week. The defending champ Georgian College Grizzlies and Champlain St. Lawrence Lions tied for second at +80.
The women’s individual race saw Kapchinsky battle Sarah-Eve Rheaume in a playoff to determine the championship, but come up just short to earn the silver medal.
“Someone played just a little better than her,” Bertram said. “We’re really proud of the way she played and how she handled herself at the event.”
UFV’s Emery Bardock (+43), the first-round leader, finished fifth overall, and fellow All-Canadian Hannah Dirksen (+47) was eighth.
The CCAA National Championships mark the conclusion of the Cascades’ fall season. Their spring campaign culminates with hosting the Canadian University/College Championship, May 29 to June 1 at Chilliwack Golf Club.
For more on the teams, visit ufvcascades.ca.