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Hawks take over No. 1 ranking in men’s golf

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Hawks take over No. 1 ranking in men’s golf

Sept. 26, 2014 – With the 2014 PING CCAA Golf National Championships right around the corner, there’s a new team atop the men’s rankings.

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The Humber Hawks have bumped the defending champion University of the Fraser Valley Cascades out of the top spot, thanks in large part to four top-3 finishes in four OCAA events – including two victories.

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“Humber has been a perennial force in men’s golf and are proving once again they will be a top contender at Nationals,” said Albert Roche, Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association golf convenor.

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Hawks golf coach Nick Trichilo doesn’t put too much stock into rankings. Right now, he’s focused on the OCAA Championships, which will be hosted by Fleming College beginning on Monday.

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“We’re just focusing on our game and our game plan,” said Trichilo. “We always have the same goal and the same sort of focus, regardless of the ranking.”

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Over in the PACWEST, UFV stumbled – by its standards – to a fourth-place finish at the recent Vancouver Island University Invitational. Despite that result, the Cascades still sit first overall in the PACWEST standings. But, the result was enough to bump them out of the No. 1 spot.

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“It may be more of a reflection of UFV’s standing in men’s golf in the strong PACWEST conference,” said Roche. “Four teams are showing tremendous competitiveness and battling for top placement in the conference,” he said.

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UFV dominated the 2013 nationals, capturing gold in both the men’s and women’s team competitions. They also took home 4-of-6 individual medals. There’s no doubt, the Cascades will be ready come Oct. 14-17, when the National Championships return to Quebec City for the second consecutive year.

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“The nationals are shaping up to be a real shootout for varsity golf supremacy for both our men and women,” said Roche.

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The final CCAA rankings will be released on Oct. 7 and you can bet the Hawks will have plenty to prove at Nationals, no matter where they place.

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Humber is coming off silver (men) and bronze (women) medal performances at the 2013 event. That would be a dream tournament for some institutions, but not Humber. The Hawks were, after all, coming off a streak that saw them capture at least one gold medal per season in team competition since 2006.

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In 2013, Humber’s men’s squad had a rebuild year of sort but gained valuable experience. Most players from the silver-medal winning team are back this season.

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“Now that they’ve been there before, I’m sure they’re hungrier this year with higher expectations of themselves,” said Trichilo. “We’re definitely eager to get back, it’s been our focus since we came in second last year, to get back and win this year.”

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Heading into the OCAA Championships, another player who will have raised expectations is Durham College’s Brent Clements, who has been red-hot this season.

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In four tournaments, Clements has two victories and a third-place finish. The junior at Durham placed in a tie for first at both the Durham and Fanshawe Inviationals.

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“My game right now is probably the best it’s ever been,” said Clements, who acknowledges his short game as his biggest strength.

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Clements’ Durham Lords also hope to be a factor at Provincials. After winning their own tournament on Sept. 18, the Lords squeezed into the Top 10 rankings on the men’s side, coming in at No. 9.

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“At the start of the year, if you would have told me we’d be ranked nationally and we would have won a tournament, it definitely would have surprised me.”

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Now, Durham will be fighting for one of three OCAA positions at the National Championships.

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“This is my last year at Durham, so I’d really like to go to Nationals,” said Clements. “I know I will have to play well for us to have a chance but we’re going to be battling for that top-three finish.”

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Brent Clements of Durham College

The CCAA is a national sport organization that enriches the lives of student-athletes through intercollegiate competition.

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