ATLANTA, GEORGIA — It’s all postseason action for Tech this week. Tennis was in action in Illinois, a great state, track traveled to Indiana, while golf remains in play out in Scottsdale, and we will recap all of it below.
In the meantime, the rest of our efforts will be focused on making this happen:
— From the Softball State-Running Seat (@FTRSBlog) May 30, 2022
If you don’t remember what this is referencing, you are lucky, and trust me, it is better to live not knowing. I grew up a Cubs fan, and yet, that single pitch from 2019 haunts me more than any other sporting event.
Tech got off to a tough start in the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. After one day of competition, the Jackets found themselves in a distant 23rd place and 18 strokes over par. Christo Lamprecht and Bartley Forrester posted Tech’s best scores on the day at 3 over par. In the second day of competition, Tech vaulted up into 17th place thanks to a day of better play and more favorable conditions. NCAA play takes the top 15 teams after 54 holes into a final day of stroke play, where the next cut culls the field to just the top 8 teams for a match play finish. On the second day of play, Connor Howe led the way for Tech going even with par. It was Bartley Forrester who got top billing on Sunday, however, as his birdie on 18 clinched a spot on the productive side of the 54 hole cut line, while Lamprecht was Tech’s best individual score on the day, finishing even. As the individual competition wrapped up, Lamprecht was also Tech’s best overall finisher at 17th.
Headed into the final day of stroke play, eleven strokes separate the Jackets from the 8th spot, meaning they have a fair bit of work to do to make up the difference between themselves and Arkansas. It should be an interesting, though not easy, day for golf.
Andres Martin and Marcus McDaniel represented Tech in Champaign-Urbana as a doubles pairing this past week, while Martin earned a bid to the singles championship draw, as well. Despite their extensive past success, the pair was unable to advance out of the first round, splitting the first two sets with the Princeton pair they faced. Unfortunately, Tech was not able to leg out the tiebreak and fell 10-7.
On the singles side, Martin opened the tournament with a first round two set victory over Daniel DeJonge of Pepperdine, winning 7-5(6), 6-4. In the second round, he was matched up with Arthur Fery. The match went to three sets, but Martin ultimately fell despite rallying back from an opening set loss in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 margin.
Tech has wrapped up collegiate action for the season, however Martin will play once more in Atlanta before the summer is over. Martin received a wildcard bid to play in the main draw of the Atlanta Open starting on July 26.
This past week, Carol Lee represented Tech in the singles bracket, defeating Maria Titova of Kansas in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, in the first round, before falling in tiebreak to Virginia’s Emma Navarro. Lee teamed up with Kate Sharabura as one of the Jackets’ two doubles entries, along with Ava Hrastar and Kylie Bilchev. Lee and Sharabura entered the tournament as a seeded pair, but were thoroughly dispatched, 6-0, 6-1, by Oklahoma State’s Ayumi Miyamoto and Lisa Rioux.
Hrastar and Bilchev got off to a better start, defeating Florida’s Carly Briggs and Marlee Zein 7-6 (2), 6-4. In the Round of 16, the pairing kept the momentum rolling with a win over Baylor’s Alicia Herrero Linana and Melany Krywoj, 1-6, 6-2, 15-13 in a lengthy tiebreak. In their third match, they ran into the Pepperdine pairing of Janice Tjen and Savannah Broadus and fell 6-1, 6-1, representing a national top-8 finish in the draw.
Track and Field
Tech was represented this past weekend in Bloomington by a quintet of athletes, as John Watkins (triple jump), Nicole Fegans (5000m), Taylor Grimes (100m hurdles), Shanty Papakosta (high jump), and Carla du Plessis (high jump) looked to extend their season, and for some, their collegiate careers, just one more meet and compete in the American citadel of track and field that is Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. It takes a top finish in the preliminaries to advance to Eugene, and, despite all of Tech’s entries having solid showings, it was just Fegans who finished in position for the journey westward, securing an automatic bid with her top-5 finish in her event. She will compete for the individual title in the event on Saturday, June 11, and the meet will be aired on ESPN.
Despite completely rewriting the Tech women’s cross country and track record books, ushering a rebirth of the women’s cross country program as it set team success not seen in nearly two decades, and serving as a principal student-athlete leader off the track, her accolades are not nearly as well-known as they should be. Though live track and field coverage is somewhat rare, the Worldwide Leader is decidedly not hard to find, and, at the very least, you, dear reader, are able to catch what is certainly the last time one of the all-time Tech track greats will represent the White and Gold.
TBD — Pending NCAA Selection Show (5/30 at 12:00 PM on ESPN2)
Through 6/1: NCAA Championships (Grayhawk Golf Club — Scottsdale, AZ)