Some Rising Fortunes in Athletics
Although we had a few stumbles on the court and fields last week, this has overall been a strong fall for sports at Westmont. The cross country teams flourished at the Mustang Invitational, and the volleyball and women’s soccer team have been ranked in the top ten nationally.
The fall season appears to be sustaining the good momentum from last year. One encouraging sign of progress among athletes has been in the classroom. For the first time in many years the combined GPA of Westmont athletes topped 3.0 (the institutional average is over 3.2). This has not come at the expense of stronger athletic performances. At 56%, Westmont had its highest winning percentage overall in the last five years, climbing from an all-time low of 41% in 2009.
The college finished 19th in the Directors' Cup of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), over 50 places higher than last year and the best finish in nearly a decade. The Directors’ Cup calculates the overall performance of the college’s teams. Westmont had the third highest place in the Directors’ Cup among schools in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), a big step forward since we have been in the middle of the pack for the past several years. Congratulations to athletic director Dave Odell and the coaches for these advances.
This year will be the first for Westmont in the new GSAC, which is notably smaller due to the departure of three schools—Azusa Pacific, Fresno Pacific, and Point Loma Nazarene—to NCAA Division II. A fourth school, California Baptist, had left the previous year. Arizona Christian is the one institution that has joined the GSAC this fall.