First year disc golf team ready for big stage
UPDATE (April 15): Joses Merat was named an All-American and led the way in men’s singles, finishing in a tie for 18th. The Flames finished 27th out of 42 teams on the men’s side and third on the women’s side.
Liberty will compete in both the National Championship and the First Flight Championship, which also serves as a qualifier for the 2013 nationals.
Liberty is sending 14 team members to nationals, which will consist of six rounds played on the four courses of the Hippodrome Club: Old Glory, Pine Valley Hogback, Headrick Hillls and Moody Woods. The first round will be a doubles round played using an alternate/best shot format, followed by two rounds of singles on Friday and Saturday. The top 20 scores will compete on Sunday, with the top 16 teams earning an automatic bid to the 2013 national tournament.
Leading the way for the Flames this weekend will be husband and wife Joses and Mary Merat. Joses, a graduate student, earned medalist honors at both the Liberty Flame Thrower tournament as well as the West Virginia National Qualifier. Mary, also a graduate student, earned the only hole-in-one at a tournament at East Tennessee State University back in November.
The First Flight tournament will play 5 rounds in the same Thursday-Saturday format, with a champion being crowned Saturday.
Though the team is in its first year, it has quickly blossomed into an elite sport.
“(Liberty) saw a need to fill some of the students’ habits, and that is the great thing about Liberty, they see a need do everything they can to keep students on the campus and bring everything into fruition for them,” head coach Steve Bowman said.
Bowman, who has played disc golf for over 20 years, came to Liberty after designing a disc golf course just outside of Lynchburg.
Disc Golf is one of 29 sports offered as part of Liberty’s Club Sports program.