A Santa Maria High School golfer has made history as the first woman in the program to move on to college golf.
Vivecca Baray will play golf at the University of La Verne. She also earned a four-year academic scholarship.
“Three years ago, when I joined the golf team, I never thought I would fall in love with the sport,’’ the Saints athlete said in a news release. “It helped me discover leadership skills, make new friends and find a new passion.
“Coach (Jay) Cheney helped me better my game and continue to play at the University of La Verne,” she continued. “Golf helped me connect with new people and bond with family, friends and others. I hope for it to continue to teach discipline, hard work and focus. I have to believe in myself. I know what I can do, what I can achieve.’’
Coach Cheney described Baray as a “positive role model.”
“She was the heart and soul of our team this year,’’ the coach and teacher said. “She was a true leader in a sense that the other girls on the team followed her. It doesn’t matter if it was a Saturday at the driving range, practicing in the rain, or even dressing like a golfer. If Vivecca was involved, the rest of the girls would be as well.”
Westmont College’s swimming team is proving it can go the distance — not only in the pool but in the classroom.
The Montecito college’s swimmers are well-represented on the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference’s Academic All-Conference team.
Gaby Rego, Hannah Thompson and Chloe Van Bogelen are the team members who have maintained at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA. That puts them on the Academic All-Conference First Team.
Holly Fellows, Kassy Gregory, Emma Leathers and Bailey Lemmon have maintained between a 3.2 and 3.49 GPA. So they’re on the Academic All-Conference Second Team.
And NAIA All-American Morgan Bienias has received an honorable mention for maintaining a GPA between 3.0 and 3.19.
This is the first time in program history that the Warriors have had PCSC Academic All-Conference athletes, according to a news release.
“It was really inspiring to see these student athletes overcome so many obstacles this past year and finish on such a high note,” said Westmont head coach Jill Jones Lin. “Remote and outdoor education have their challenges, but these athletes didn’t let it get in the way of their academic success. I’m really proud of all of them!”
This season came with many firsts for the Warriors, who just completed their second year of competition in program history.
Before receiving its first Academic All-Conference honors this week, Westmont has previously celebrated receiving its first NAIA All-Americans in program history. Along with Bienias, fellow Academic All-Conference athlete Kassy Gregory received an All-American honor, as did Westmont’s Bridget Hoth.
Westmont will begin its third season Oct. 2 when the college hosts Fresno Pacific in a dual meet.