Westmont gains first GSAC All-Sports Award in 20 years

For the first time since the 1993-94 school year, Westmont Athletics has won the Golden State Athletic Conference All-Sport Award presented by Duke’s Restaurant in Huntington Beach. This marks the eighth time that Westmont has claimed the award.

Schools in the conference earn points based on the final regular season standings in each of the sports. Westmont’s score of 7.21 points edged out Concordia who scored 7.08 points. Vanguard scored 6.65 points to take third while The Master’s finished fourth with 6.30 points. Biola’s 5.88 points earned fifth place with Hope International (5.00 points), San Diego Christian (4.56 points) and Arizona Christian (4.31 points) rounding out the scoring.

“The institution has made a commitment to seeing athletics as an outward representation of what goes on here on campus every day – the excellence that occurs in the classroom with faculty and staff here at Westmont,” said athletic director Dave Odell. “The nature of sports is that we are more visible than other departments and so we become ambassadors of that excellence.”

The Warriors benefited from regular season conference championships for men’s and women’s basketball, women’s tennis and men’s track and field. In addition, Women’s soccer, men’s tennis and women’s track and field were each conference runner-up.

“The thing that is most pleasing is that we didn’t sell our souls to get what we have achieved this year,” stressed Odell. “We didn’t do this at the expense of our GPA. We are focusing on character and our faith is very important to us. All of that fits with the desires of every member of the coaching staff and the ethos of the college.”

Regarding the significance of the recent award, Odell said, “It is a reward for the donors and supporters of our athletic program whom I asked to step up – and they did. As a result, we were able to invest those monies into scholarships. One thing I have learned is that the more money you have, and the more money you have for scholarships, the easier it is to win a championship.

“Four years back, we won 41 percent of our contests and this year we won 70 percent of our contests,” noted Odell regarding the upward trajectory of the athletics program. “At some point that caps out, but I think that we have additional room for growth and that we can battle not only for the GSAC All-Sports Award, but also the Director’s Cup in years to come.”