By SAM JANJAC
She did it again. Winning, so she could be sent to defend her national title. Lorelle Weavers, alongside teammate Evan Littlefield, won gold during the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Golf Championships at Hunters Pointe last week. As did the men.
Weavers and Littlefield, winning gold, were also both named 2015 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association All-Canadians. The two are the eighth and ninth Knights to earn this distinguished honour. Weavers is the first ever two-time recipient in Knights history to be honoured with this prestigious title.
“With us hosting the OCAA tournament this year I found there to be a little bit more pressure on us as a team than last year, but I do think there was a bit of a home course advantage that we were able to use at Hunters Pointe,” says Weavers.
Out of four divisions, Niagara was on top with first place titles in three of the four divisions. Weavers and Littlefield both walked away with first place during their individual competitions while team member Josiah Dixon tied for bronze with Humber College player, Christian McCullough.
The Knights men’s team of Littlefield, Dixon, Mark Wikkerink, Logan Lammerant and Zachary Bankuti, brought home their team division gold.
“We worked hard, we wanted to win and I’m happy that all of the hard work that all of us put in paid off when it had to,” says Littlefield.
The men’s team’s closest opponent was the nine-time defending OCAA champions, the Humber Hawks of Toronto.
Despite less than par conditions the Knights led with an even par 280 to start off the championship, while the Hawks were behind by 14 strokes. On day two the Knights were the ones to fall behind by 11 strokes while Humber stole the lead with 294 a second day in a row. On the third and final day the Knights fell behind by two strokes but pulled through to win with a total of 866 while the Hawks ended with 867.
“I’m most proud of how they came together and played for each other, leaving all the individual titles and accolades as gravy rather than the priority,” says coach Cameron Thin.
In the women’s individual competition Weavers led by four strokes at the end of the championship and in the face of difficult conditions, stayed consistent with her scores all the way through the three days.
The men’s individual left Dixon six strokes behind his gold medal teammate who ended the championship with a total of 212 and, like Weavers, had consistent scores throughout the three day tournament.
“The individual title wasn’t really on my mind too much throughout the day,” says Littlefield. “I was mainly focused on winning as a team because we all deserve it. It’s kind of icing on the cake taking home the individual as well.”
Ray Sarkis, intercollegiate co-ordinator and championship chair, says the feedback from all coaches and players was positive and they enjoyed every part of the championships.
“From scoring to registration to amenities such as on-site physical therapists, it was a top notch tournament and most of the kudos goes to the organizers,” says Shawn Raimondo, golf operations manager at Hunters Pointe.
With an eye to the future, Weavers says, “Of course, I am hoping to win nationals again this year. It is going to be a tough feat to accomplish but I know I can do it.”
The men’s golf team and Weavers will be flying to Chilliwack, B.C. on Thanksgiving Sunday for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Golf Championship (CCAA) where they will be playing at the University of Fraser Valley at the Chilliwack Golf Club. Thin says the team has the talent to compete with any team in the country and their depth exceeds most others they will compete against.
Thin says, “We are looking forward to getting out to British Columbia and representing the college proudly.
“Rather than focus on achievements, I like to focus on being properly prepared. If we are and we play well, everything else will take care of itself.”