O’Dell, Dirksen lead the way for Cascades in Round 1 at CCAA nationals

Connor O'Dell is tied for third after the opening round of the CCAA national championships in PEI.

Connor O’Dell is tied for third after the opening round of the CCAA national championships in PEI.

The University of the Fraser Valley golf teams got off to promising starts at the PING CCAA Golf National Championships at Fox Meadows Golf Course in Stratford, PEI, with Connor O’Dell and Hannah Dirksen leading the way.

In opening-round action on Wednesday, the Cascades men battled their way to third place with a total score of 292. That leaves them two strokes back of co-leaders Humber College and Cégep AndréLaurendeau.

Connor O’Dell, the Cascades’ fifth-year captain from Maple Ridge, got off to a tremendous start, firing a two-under 70 to sit tied for third, three strokes back of frontrunner Josiah Dixon of the Niagara College Knights. Cole Briggs (T9, 72), Halen Davis (T14, 73), Nathan Bahnman (T42, 77) and Zach Olson (T42, 77) round out the UFV contingent.

“Solid first day for the guys, and it puts us in a good position to make a move tomorrow,” UFV head coach Chris Bertram said. “The team played some great golf today in some tough conditions, and we are looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow morning.”

On the women’s side, the top-seeded Cascades are fifth after the first round with a combined score of 162, nine strokes behind the Georgian College Grizzlies. Mission, B.C. product Dirksen is tied for fourth after carding a 77; teammates Sharon Park (85) and Jennifer Kell (87) are 18th and T19th, respectively.

“The women’s team started hot but hit some bumps mid-round, and with the exception of Hannah, couldn’t recover,” Bertram summarized. “I’m confident they will rebound tomorrow and claw their way back into this championship.”

The 54-hole tournament, hosted by Holland College, continues Thursday and Friday. Event coverage, including leaderboards and video streaming, is available at ccaa.ca/sports/golf.

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