Club sports athletes bring home impressive wins
By Josh Holloway
Intern, WWU University Communications and Marketing
Athletes in many of Western’s club sports teams have had a fantastic year—some going all the way to nationals.
Western’s men’s rugby club sports team made it to the semi-final round in the USA Rugby National Championship on May 11 in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Western's club baseball team has won its league's Northern Pacific
West title three out of the last five years and came in fifth at
the National Club Baseball World Series.
Reaching the semi-finals is no small feat, as the rugby team has been climbing its way toward the top for the past five years.
The men’s rugby team isn’t the only club sport that has a record of reaching championship games.
Western’s men’s crew team also battled for a championship May 11. The team was in the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pa. This was the first time the team has raced in this event since 2008, and they made it into the semi-finals.
Western’s club hockey team put together an amazing season, winning its first national championship since 1984.
The club baseball team has won the league’s Northern Pacific West title three out of the last five years. The Vikings came in fifth at this year’s National Club Baseball Association World Series in Tampa, Fla.
Even the sailing team is boasting great results, the women’s team place 18th in the nation last year, competing against teams that included Harvard and Yale.
Senior Kevin Kinloch has been the president of Western’s rugby club for two years. He originally was more interested in football and came to Western right when the school stopped its football program. Kinloch, wanting something to do, looked into the rugby club and has been playing ever since.
Freshman Aaron Hack plays on the hockey team and said figuring out how to manage his time was the most difficult part of playing a sport while at Western.
Most teams have multiple practices a week and games throughout the weekends.
Angela Gossom said she has to get any homework done before the weekends when she’s on the sailing team, since they compete from dawn until dusk.
Even with the time commitments all three said they have built long-lasting friendships with their teammates. Kinloch said he met a person, through the team, who had the same major and they became friends and even take most of their classes together.
Zak Balonick has been with the men’s crew team for three years. He said since club sports don’t have the perks of a varsity sport, like scholarships and priority registration, he finds that members of teams have more passion for the sport.
“The biggest thing I’ve gained from club sports is a responsibility and motivation,” Balonick said.
If students are unsure what sport they would like to try, or if they have the time to do one, Gossom said to test a few out at the beginning of the year and see what each team is like.
“If one group doesn’t fit perfectly, don’t be discouraged,” Gossom said.