Men’s, women’s disc golf teams claim Flamethrower crowns
For the fifth time in the seven years it has hosted the Flamethrower Invitational, a qualifier for the National Collegiate Disc Golf (NCDG) National Championships, Liberty University's men's championship flight was the overall team champion after Saturday's and Sunday's singles and doubles play on its two 20-hole courses near Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center and on East Campus.
"These courses are tougher than what we will see at the National Championships," Flames Head Coach Steve Bowman said of the tournament set for March 27-30 at the Hippodrome Complex in North Augusta, S.C. "They are real comparable to what we played last weekend at the SECO Championships," the SouthEastern Collegiate Open in Appling, Ga., also won by the Flames' top foursome.
The reigning (NCDG) national champion Lady Flames' championship flight foursome also defended its Flamethrower team title, though its only competition was from its first flight team.
|The Flames' Trevor Staub (left), Ryan Shumate, Hunter Thomas, and Jeremy Miekley beat Clemson by 10 shots.|
In the men's team competition, sophomore Trevor Staub, seniors Hunter Thomas and Ryan Shumate, and graduate Jeremy Miekley captured the crown with a combined score of 358 through two rounds of doubles and one round of singles play. That was 10 shots better than the Clemson championship flight foursome (368), which qualified its Division I and II teams for the National Championships.
Liberty's Division II team of senior Zach Biscardi, sophomore Peter Curran, and juniors Taylor Nichol and Christian Wilborn also earned a bid to nationals by placing third with a 395 total, followed by East Carolina's Division I team (407) and the Flames' second flight (Division III) team (fifth, 422).
Staub shot the low round of singles Saturday at the Hydaway course, firing a 60, followed closely by Shumate (61), and Thomas (62). The Flames' top doubles foursome also posted the low score of 61, one shot better than the DII team's round of 62.
"I had a tough start but made a lot of good putts to save par and it was a really good round for me," Staub said. "I struggled a lot in tournaments last year, but I've had two strong singles performances so far and I've got a lot of confidence right now."
|Liberty's women's teams gained valuable experience through three rounds of singles and doubles play.|
In the women's division, Liberty's DI championship team — featuring seniors Hannah Trotz, the only returning player from the national championship squad, and Hannah Frey and freshmen Grace Adkins and Alyssa Frey — won by 50 shots over the Lady Flames' DII first-flight foursome, 472-522.
Trotz won the singles title after carding a 110 total, followed by DII freshman Shannon Hons (116) and Alyssa Frye and Adkins (117), who tied for third.
Staub and Adkins won the men's and women's putting contests, with Thomas and Trotz earning the men's and women's long-drive titles.
Individual players from Liberty's men's and women's teams will sharpen their games through the rest of the fall and winter months by participating in the Blue Ridge Area Winter League (BRAWL) Series.