As Cal Poly Polo is preparing for their upcoming season, the success of one Cal Poly polo player may set the team up for victory this winter.
Business junior and captain of the Cal Poly Horse Polo Club Carter Nix recently won the 2021 U.S. Open Women’s Handicap Tournament for polo.
“It felt unreal,” Nix said.
This is the second biggest polo tournament in the nation and this year was Nix’s first time competing in it.
Wine and viticulture sophomore Camilla Mcfall said the Cal Poly polo team cheered Nix on during her tournament.
“You should have seen the text messages. We were like, ‘Go Carter. You’re doing amazing,’” Mcfall said.
Nix said it was very rewarding when her team, Ketel One Botanical, won first place in the tournament.
“I just had worked so hard and I’ve constantly been told I’m never gonna be anything, so it’s really cool to go and win and win my first try,” Nix said.
Now that the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap is over, Nix can focus on her role as Cal Poly Polo’s captain and preparing for the collegiate season.
Mcfall says that Cal Poly’s polo team is known for being the underdogs, especially compared to schools on the east coast.
“They are bred to play polo,” Mcfall said.
However, according to Mcfall, Nix’s latest feat helps give the rest of Cal Poly’s polo team more confidence going into the upcoming season.
“Having the U.S. Open Handicap Winner on our team, and as our captain, is super impressive and it’s a big achievement,” Mcfall said.
Cal Poly Polo Club Coach Megan Judge said that Nix’s win will help Cal Poly strengthen its image as a polo school.
“It strengthens our ability to recruit high school players that are looking at universities in the future,” Judge said.
With the combination of Nix’s big win and recruiting new players, Nix is hopeful that her team will go from Division Two to Division One this year.
“I would love for us to be in the top three positions and for us to win nationals and get a title,” Nix said.