The Westmont polo team successfully defended their national title to claim back-to-back championships.
The Westmont men’s polo team achieved consecutive national championships when they defeated the University of Virginia 16-13 on April 12 at ERG Arena in Brookshire, Texas. Last year, they upset Colorado State University in the U.S. Polo Association National Intercollegiate Championship for their first title. They also beat Cornell University this year.
John Westley of Santa Barbara Polo School coached the team of Jake Bergman, David Samaniego and Patrick and Tony Uretz, who are brothers. Patrick, the team captain, won the All-Star Team Award at the tournament, and Samaniego earned the Sportsmanship Award.
“They found the competition tougher than anticipated,” Westley says. “Their sheer determination, excellent riding skills and great team-work made all the difference. Going into a tournament to defend a title can be much more difficult than going in seeded No. 5.”
The Warriors won their Western Region against Stanford 22-3 in the regional finals, qualifying them for the nationals as the No. 1 seed.
“We have no grooms or assistants to help the team with their horses,” Westley says. “It’s time-consuming, labor-intensive work. It’s impressive they can do all this and keep up with their studies at Westmont. They always get a huge amount of respect around the country because of who they are as people and how they treat other teams on and off the field.”