Drexel and Delaware settled for fifth- and sixth-place finishes, respectively, when the Colonial Athletic Association Championship concluded Sunday morning at Salisbury Country Club in Midlothian, Va.
And both teams played pretty well throughout the tournament, just not quite good enough to keep up with some of the CAA powers, especially the College of Charleston, which ran away with its fourth straight conference crown.
The Cougars, the highest-ranked team in the field at No. 64 by Golfstat, fired a 14-under 274 over the 7,035-yard, par-72 Monacan and Buckingham nines at Salisbury in the opening round and never looked back. They added a 5-under 283 in the middle round and a 4-under 284 in the final round for a 23-under 841 total.
The tournament was scheduled for a Saturday finish, but rain forced the suspension of play and the final round had to be completed Sunday morning.
North Carolina-Wilmington was the runnerup at 10-undere 854, Towson finished third at 8-under 856, James Madison, with a sizzling middle round of 15-under 273, was fourth at 4-under 860, Drexel was fifth at 4-over 868 and Delaware was sixth at 10-over 874.
College of Charleston was led by individual champion Parker Derby, a senior from Columbus, Ga. Derby fired a 6-under 66 in the opening round in a wire-to-wire victory. He added a 2-under 70 in the middle round and matched par in the final round with a 72 to finish at 8-under 208.
Two other Cougars, Michael Sass, a freshman from Louisville, Ky., and William Rainey, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., were in a group of three players tied for fourth at 5-under 211. Both finished up with a 1-under 71 in the final round.
Hunter Dunagen, a freshman from Augusta, Ga., finished tied for 18th at 2-over 218 and Phillip Oweida, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., finished tied for 23rd at 3-over 219. Oweida contributed a 3-under 69 to College of Charleston’s opening-round surge.
UNCW’s Reese McFarlane, a freshman from Cape Elizabeth, Me., was the runnerup in the individual chase, following up a pair of 69s with a final-round 71 for a 7-under 209 total. Towson’s Spencer Alexander, a freshman from Newton, Mass., matched Derby’s opening-round 66 before cooling off with a pair of 72s to finish alone in third at 6-under 210.
Joining Charleston’s Sass and Rainey in the trio tied for fourth at 5-under 211 was James Madison’s Shota Ozaki, a redshirt sophomore from Japan. Ozaki went 68-69 in the first two rounds before falling back in the final round with a 2-over 74.
Drexel was led by freshman Connor Schmidt, a Peters Township standout who had a very solid spring for the Dragons. Schmidt was in contention for the individual title after going 70-69 in the first two rounds. A final-round 78 left him tied for 15th at 1-over 217.
Also for the Dragons, Adam Mistretta, a junior from Livermore, Calif., finished tied for 18th at 2-over 218 after a final-round 72, junior Aaron Fricke, a Garden Spot product, finished tied for 23rd at 219 after a final-round 76, and Yoseph Dance, a senior from Richmond, Va., and sophomore Mike Cook, who starred scholastically at Conestoga, were in the group tied for 27th at 220. Dance struggled to a 77 in the final round while Cook finished up by matching par with a 72.
Delaware was led by senior Marc Oliveri, a Conestoga Valley product who finished alone in seventh place. A 4-under 68 in the middle round got Oliveri to 5-under before a final-round 74 left him at 3-under 213.
Also for the Blue Hens, Jack Gianniny, a junior from Pittsford, N.Y., finished tied for 18th at 5-over 218 after a final-round 73, Kieran Purcell, a junior from Jersey City, N.J., finished 31st at 222 after a final-round 76, Bobby Diforio, a sophomore from White Plains, N.Y., finished 33rd at 224 after a final-round 75 and Mark Benevento, a sophomore from Somers Point, N.J., finished tied for 36th at 228 after a final-round 73.