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    April 4, 2022 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    For this week’s College Disc Golf National Championships at the North Cove Social Club in Marion, N.C., Liberty University disc golf Head Coach Steve Bowman has developed great depth of talent on a team capable of competing for titles in multiple flights, after narrowly missing the mark last spring.

    “We have a really good team, and are enjoying the process of it,” Bowman said. “We have skill across all divisions and the players have put more time into it this year so they will hopefully be coming out prepared. They have put the hard work in … and we went there a month ago to get some practice in. We played five rounds in two days and let the new players get some mental images of the course.”

    Competition at nationals begins Wednesday at 9 a.m. with the first of three rounds of doubles play for all men’s and women’s divisions. Women’s singles finals are set for Thursday at 2 p.m. followed by men’s singles finals on Friday at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final rounds of doubles play start at 8 a.m.

    “There are a lot of doubles rounds this year, with Divisions I, II, and III men playing three to four doubles rounds and one singles round,” Bowman said, noting his doubles pairings work well together. “They are good competitors, and good friends as well, and that commitment-to-each other dynamic is more pronounced this year. In doubles play, good friends who push each other can make up a lot of strokes.”

    The Flames have one four-man team in all three divisions and one team of two in women’s Division I.

    “Men’s Division I has 54 teams in it, which is the largest we’ve had in a good while — from Arizona to Oregon, Texas, Clemson, all over, including multiple teams from Appalachian State, playing on their home courses,” Bowman said. “There will be a lot of pretty big schools there, so we’re excited.”

    He said one course at North Cove is similar to the one at Peaks View Park in Lynchburg, a shorter, more technical course. The middle course is older and longer with a new course, which the Flames have yet to see, built on an old golf course. It will rival a professional venue, adding variety in length and technical difficulty.

    Liberty hosted Appalachian State at its Flamethrower Invitational, a qualifier for nationals.

    “Like we did there, they’re going to have a huge advantage, having been able to play those courses 50 times more than anyone else,” Bowman said.

    Junior newcomer Clayton Lewis

    The Flames’ top DI men’s players are graduate captain Spencer Ellingson, sophomore Tristan Lambert, senior Stephen Curry, and spring semester transfer Clayton Lewis, a junior from North Carolina.

    Senior Justin Rosak won’t be eligible to compete in his final CDC National Championships, but will help coach the Division III players.

    Senior Julia DiMartino, a newcomer to the women’s team this year who has been playing very well, will join freshman Marissa Curry, Stephen’s younger sister, to form the Lady Flames’ lone pairing.

    “They do play well together, and complement each other’s games,” Bowman said. “That’s the biggest thing at nationals (in doubles rounds), to play with somebody who throws different than you do.”

    Senior Justin Rosak is ineligible for nationals as he has played in too many professional tournaments, including this past weekend’s Music City Open in Nashville, Tenn., where he tied for 10th out of 112 players. He will turn pro after graduating next month.

    “He is still going to come down to nationals to cheer on his teammates, and help the Division III guys, walk with them and give them insights,” Bowman said. “He has moved into a player-coach role to help other guys be more successful, which shows good character.”

    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer