5 Aggies who won the 2017 Sports Club Championships


Get involved in UC Davis Sports

Once again, Aggie athletes from our UC Davis sports clubs took home the gold medal at the 2017 National Championship tournaments, winning three team titles and two individual titles.

Although the five students you are about to meet have joined sports clubs for different reasons, they all agree that the experience, culminating in the national championships, was the highlight of their college career.

Perhaps women’s rugby team champion Rebecca Graff sums it up best: “Everything we do and produce is solely based on our passion for the sport and for each other.

Find out which clubs and their members hold the 2017 national titles.

Vicky Zhao ’17, Boxing Club

Vicky Zhao is defending champion with an individual gold medal to her name in UC Davis Boxing club. This club operates within the Western Division of the National Collegiate Boxing Association under the guidance of coach Hector Lopez, who once qualified for the Olympics United States Team.

Vicky, a double major in Psychology and Philosophy, says she has a great deal of respect for her coach, who encouraged and supported her. An added benefit of being in a sports club, she points out, is learning to navigate between school and play.

“The Boxing Club taught me to be disciplined and focused, and helped me be a better student,” says Vicky. “I think it’s a process of self-discovery. You don’t know how strong you can be until you are constantly being pushed to the limit. I think that’s how champions are made.

Fast facts on the boxing club: This team mainly faces schools in northern California and Nevada. Free practice runs quarterly. To see what it is, go through the Pavilion of the Activity and Leisure Center, upper west corner, 5-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Email club member Surya Jones for more information.

Victoria Henderson ’17, Gymnastics Club

National title winner Victoria Henderson learned leadership skills while being part of the gymnastics club. (Solon Yiu / UC Davis)

Another individual laureate, psychology major Victoria Henderson, served as chair of the Gymnastics club last academic year. Victoria was especially thrilled with everything she had learned being at the club beyond knockdowns and hand jumps.

“Taking advantage of resources, facilities and leadership opportunities has taught me invaluable lessons that I cherish and take with me into the professional world,” she says.

Sports clubs are run and managed by the students themselves. Participants enjoy the rewards of intense competition and learn to collaborate, lead, problem solve and acquire financial management skills.

Fast facts on the gym club: The club has competitive and recreational members with varying skill levels. You don’t need any experience to join. The club trains from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at Lower Hickey Gym. Email Paige Nelson at the club for more information.

Amanda Flannery, Taekwondo Club

UC Davis can claim the best in the country for sports club taekwondo. Here Andrew Cao, a specialist in neurobiology, physiology and behavior, breaks a board with a flying side kick. (Micheal Chow / UC Davis)

Amanda Flannery, Spain’s double major in human development, who led her mixed team to victory last year as president, is amazed at all the progress the team has made. Taekwondo club did in his time at UC Davis.

“I saw our team start with two to four people competing and grow to almost 40,” she says. “Although this sport is made for individuals, it is the team that allows us to grow.

Since its first place in the National College Taekwondo Association For the combined belt and colored belt divisions 2017, club members aim to take first place in the black belt division next year.

Fast facts on the Taekwondo Club: Open to beginners and advanced practitioners, this club offers instruction in traditional and Olympic styles of martial art. It meets from 8:30 p.m. to 10:10 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, from 10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. on Saturday and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, all in the Activity and leisure center Martial arts room. Email Keith Makishima for more information.

Rebecca Graff, women’s rugby club

Members of the Women’s Rugby Club play on two teams in the fall and winter, with the competitive season taking place during the winter quarter. (Alexander Park / UC Davis)
Rebecca Graff

N ° 1 nationally Women’s rugby club is in National Collegiate Athletics Association Division I with the A and B teams. During the fall, the two club teams participate in numerous pre-season friendly tournaments in the fall, while the official league matches take place during the winter quarter. .

Rebecca Graff, a major in nutritional science and current club president, says she finds being in the club and being in a leadership position a pleasant outlet.

“I think college should be more than textbooks and tests,” says Rebecca. “It’s also about having fun and gaining life experiences outside of the classroom. Joining a sports club can give you these opportunities.

Quick facts about the women’s rugby club: Most players join with no experience, and all experience levels are welcome. Join them from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays north of Hutchison Field. Email Rebecca Graff for more information.

Sofia Caryotakis, women’s water polo club

Sofia Caryotakis, a student in neurobiology, physiology and behavior, has made her best friends at the Women’s Water Polo Club, of which she is the president this year. (Nicole Garcia / UC Davis)

Sofia Caryotakis, a student in neurobiology, physiology and behavior, will be president of the club this school year for the Women’s water polo club. The club, with its two nationally ranked teams, compete during the winter and spring quarters and train throughout the year.

Sofia has invested in her role as president to serve the community within her club.

“The club introduced me to my best friends,” says Sofia. “It was an immediate network of friendship, advice and support.”

Women’s water polo club quick fact: The club trains at Schaal Pool from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sundays and at Hickey Pool from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Send an email to Sofia Caryotakis to learn more about the club.

Students like Sofia who get involved in sports clubs develop personally and come away with fond memories of their team’s fun experiences, but that’s not all they get out of it. Most discover a UC Davis family in their coaches and teammates, and forge bonds that last a lifetime.

Montana Strohl-Roy graduated in 2016 from UC Davis with a double major in Communication and Psychology. She is currently working as a content specialist for Student Affairs Marketing and Communication.


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