Illustration by Leigh Douglas

While UCSC is not traditionally known as a sporting power, the 2011–12 school year has seen great success for the athletics department. Besides NCAA, UC Santa Cruz’s sporting success has continued to the club level. This year, 13 teams qualified for their regional or national playoffs — the most qualifying teams in school history.

The teams are: men’s lacrosse, women’s rugby, disc golf, cycling, boating, equestrian, men’s soccer, women’s water polo, men’s water polo, baseball, men’s ultimate and women’s ultimate. Men’s ultimate, men’s rugby and baseball couldn’t advance because of league structures or because of lack of funding.

“In terms of position, we’ve finished higher before,” said UCSC club sports director Kevin “Skippy” Givens. “But we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Givens said UCSC’s increased numbers of athletic students over previous years allows the school to tap into its athletic potential better than before.

“Students are coming into the school with extracurriculars, and so many of those are sports,” Givens said. “Even if they start playing a different sport at the club level than what they did in high school, their considerable athletic experience easily translates into success on the field.”

This explains the continued success of UCSC club sports, Givens said, attributing the success to good infrastructure and support from the student and administration level.

“No matter where you go in the department,” Givens said, “you get a great quality of experience.”