Rising Stars Part 2

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Author: Koby Deitz|Zach Heerwagen

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(Ximena Santiago)

Kevin Liu
Tiger Woods serves as a role model for golfer Kevin Liu in more ways than one. “I’ve always tried to model my game after Tiger Woods because he’s been so dominant throughout his career,” Liu said. “He also showed that golfers can get tons of ladies, which is something I hope to emulate too.” Although Kevin Liu only began playing golf during his sophomore year of high school, he proved himself to be a quick learner and picked up the game with ease. By his senior year, the Mercer Island, Wash. native established himself as a team captain, ending the season with a King County honorable mention selection. According to head golf coach Andrew Larkin, Liu has been the biggest surprise thus far on either the men’s or women’s golf teams. As one of six golfers on the men’s team, Liu must be counted upon to produce consistently low scores right away. He is still adapting to the college-style tournament play, admitting that in their first tournament he let his nerves get the best of him. As the season progresses, however, Liu sees himself getting more comfortable and posting better scores. “Kevin is a hard worker who loves the game and has a desire to improve,” Larkin said. “Once we have combined his natural athletic ability and drive with some fine tuned mechanics and mental awareness, he is going to be a consistent threat at the top of our lineup.”

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(Ximena Santiago)

Dave Miyamoto
Before coming to Occidental, Dave Miyamoto never once considered playing rugby. He was recruited to play football but left the team after a few days in order to focus on school. Thinking he was done with sports, he went to the school’s club fair, hoping to find something new that would spark his interest. While there, he was called over by members of the rugby team who pleaded with him to give the sport a try. Miyamoto remained hesitant for a few days thereafter until he happened to see the rugby team practicing on the field after he had finished a workout. He figured he’d give it a try and see what it was like and immediately fell in love with the sport. His extensive football background allowed for an easy transition to the game of rugby. A talented player at Iolani High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, Miyamoto led his team to three state championships. One difficulty for the first-year flanker has been picking up the rules of rugby and learning the game’s strategy. While the two sports share some similarities, he stresses the fact that football and rugby are two very different games. But the hardest adjustment so far for Miyamoto is the weather. “In Hawaii, it’s always so hot,” Miyamoto said. “It’s usually pretty nice in California too, but it gets cold at night here. That’s a hard pill to swallow for us islanders!”

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(Ximena Santiago)

Kristin Oberiano
Not many athletes at Occidental can say they have their sights set on making it to the Olympics. Kristin Oberiano is an exception. Oberiano hopes to golf for her home country of Guam at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and bring home a medal. As a member of both the Guam national basketball and golf teams, she has already proven her abilities at the national level. In 2011, she represented Guam in the FIBA 3×3 World Youth Championships for basketball. Currently, she is the fourth ranked female golfer in Guam. As a member of the golf team at Occidental, she looks to continue her success on the courses of Southern California. Coach Andrew Larkin sees Oberiano as a potential SCIAC Freshman of the Year. “Kristin Oberiano has opened the season as the team’s number two player, and I expect her to compete for the top spot as the season progresses,” Larkin said. Oberiano sees her familiarity with tournament play as a big contribution to the team. For many first-year players, adapting to the college tournament style of play can be difficult. In Oberiano’s mind, having played in national tournaments before will help not only herself but also her teammates.

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(Ximena Santiago)

Keilani Bonis-Ericksen
Whether she was the only girl playing on the boys’ basketball team in middle school or winning competitions for the surf team, Keilani Bonis-Ericksen has always tested her limits. While attending Le Jardin Academy in Hawaii, she decided to participate in the Women’s Short-Board Surfing Competition and won her heat despite having no prior experience. But, amidst her versatility in sports, tennis ultimately became Bonis-Ericksen’s passion. Tennis, according to Bonis-Ericksen, requires as much mental toughness as it does athletic ability, which is what she loves about the array of sports she’s done in the past. She is one of seven first-year players on the women’s tennis team but has set herself apart early in the season by earning the number two singles position and a number one doubles spot. While in high school, Bonis-Ericksen advanced as far as the quarter finals in the state doubles tournament and established herself as the team’s number one player all four years. This season, her goals are to adjust to a much higher level of play and gain experience as a doubles player. “Even though some of the matches will be tough because there are so many freshman, I know as the years go on we’re going to get progressively better as we continue practicing and Improving,” she said.

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(Ximena Santiago)

Lizzy Kosin
Lizzy Kosin, affectionately known as “Helen” to her teammates, came to Occidental intending only to play water polo. Her decision to swim was last minute, but worth it. Kosin finished tenth in the SCIAC in the 200-yard fly as well as earning an award as the SCIAC Swimmer of the Week for winning all four of her events in a meet against Redlands. Despite a significant delay in training for water polo due to swim season, Kosin participated in a tournament this past weekend and scored her first ever collegiate goal against Villanova, a school she was recruited to and nearly played for. Kosin describes herself as a lock-down defender and team player who uses her racing speed to beat opponents up and down the pool. In high school, the Macklemore fanatic was a heralded prep player, who started on the Illinois State Championship team as a sophomore, was named MVP as a junior and successfully played her way onto the All-Illinois Second Team as a senior. Having already contributed so much to the aquatics program as a first-year, Kosin will try to make an even bigger impact in her favorite sport and help get her team to a SCIAC Championship.

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(Ximena Santiago)

Jack Streeter
Even though Jack Streeter lived in three different countries during his childhood, one thing remained constant: his passion for tennis. Streeter learned the game in London, showed great potential while living in Dubai and took his game to the next level in Seattle, where he was always focused on improvement. Arriving in Seattle as a sophomore, Streeter built his life around tennis, frequently waking up at six in the morning to spend time with his coaches before school. By his senior season, Streeter was ranked a three-star recruit and had legitimate Division I hopes before they were derailed by a torn ligament in his elbow. After earning the teams MVP award his junior and senior years as well as all district honors in his final season, Streeter was forced to take a full year away from the sport. Although this was one of the toughest experiences of his life, it gave him an opportunity to focus on the weight-room and his overall athleticism. Now returning from injury, Streeter won his first doubles match of the season but hopes to crack the singles lineup before the beginning of league play. He hopes to one day win the SCIAC individual championship and maybe even continue on with professional tennis.

 

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