Catena USA Defeats Nano’s Polo Mallets in Final WCT Season 10 Qualifier; CoCo Switlyk Named MVP
By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo Club
The stage is now set for the much-anticipated April 1-4 Women’s Championship Tournament (WCT) Finals Championship at Grand Champions Polo Club.
In the final Season 10 qualifier, Catena USA (CoCo Switlyk, 0, Sarah Martin, 0, Melanja Jones/Christina Fernandez, 3, Leah Masters, 0) defeated Nano’s Polo Mallets (Mili Galindo, 0, Dawn Weber, 1, Scarlett Davenport, 2, Amy Huson, 0) with an impressive 8-2 victory on Saturday at windswept Grand Champions Polo Club.
CoCo Switlyk of Wellington was named Most Valuable Player, a career-first honor.
“She can borrow it any time she wants,” George Switlyk said with a smile. “Brownie still plays 6-8 goal polo and plays great.
“My wife is great. She has improved so much in the last year or two. She loves playing with the WCT. She has a great team and is looking forward to next weekend.”
Swityk, who has been playing polo consistently for three years, fell in love with the sport and loves playing with her husband.
“I love the companionship with my husband and playing with him. It’s very competitive and I’m a competitive individual.”
Swityk was impressed with her team’s chemistry and victory.
Swityk is competing in her fourth WCT season.
“I have always loved it,” Swityk said. “The women play differently than the men. It’s the challenge. It’s a great sport and the women are fabulous. It’s great camaraderies. I am so excited for next week. This gives us heaps of confidence.”
Swityk competed in her first ladies tournament in 2003. When she returned to the women’s scene in 2009 she was so impressed with WCT founder and top player Sunny Hale that she started collecting her memorabilia.
“I bought everything she had at charities, her mallets, just everything, she is such a great role model,” Swityk said.
“The team was put together informally,” Martin said. “Several of us had played before and enjoy playing together so we were lucky to be on the same team.
“I didn’t expect the large discrepancy in the score that happened today. It was a pleasant surprise. It bodes well for the future tournament and the finals.”
Martin is impressed at the level of play in the women’s game.
Masters led Catena USA with three goals. Jones and Swityk each had two goals and Fernandez added one. Davenport and Huson each had one goal for Nano’s Polo Mallets.
Both teams will compete this week. All teams must play one qualifier to compete in the tournament.
The playoff matches will be held Thursday morning at Grand Champions. After a rest day on Friday, the third annual WCT Junior Invitational, WCT 8-11 Finals and WCT 12-16 Finals will be held followed by the awards presentation are Saturday.
Last year Northern Trust (Claire Donnelly, Kristy Outhier, Maureen Brennan, Belinda Brody) won the 12-16 goal title. LBL Polo (Alison Patricelli, Julia Steiner, Belinda brody, Courtney Asdourain) won the medium goal and Escue Polo (CoCo Smith, Erika Lipton, Marissa Wells, Kelly Wells) won the low goal.
Chukker TV, leaders in polo broadcasting, will livestream the WCT event. Chukker TV uses state-of-the-art technology featuring live streaming, instant replay, challenges and team review from ChukkerTV.
In January, 2014, Grand Champions Polo Club became the first polo club worldwide to offer instant replay and team review much to the delight of players and patrons in hopes of improving officiating and quality of play at all levels of polo.
La Martina is the WCT’s official supplier; Nano’s Polo Mallets is the official mallet supplier and Catena USA is the official timepiece of the WCT Finals, which is the official recognized event of the American Polo Horse Association. Grand Champions is the host polo club.
Grand Champions Polo Club, featuring five world-class fields, has a full schedule of tournaments from January to May. Let our polo experts create a turn-key experience including top pros to bring out the best in you and your team. Lessons are available.
Sunday: The Top Pony 12-Goal Series Final, 10 a.m., at Jan Pamela Field; APRIL: Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame Challenge Cup
Sunday: The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series final, Willowcreek vs. Travieso, noon; APRIL: USPA President’s Cup
Sunday: Madelon Bourdieu Memorial, Smithfield at Equuleus, 10 a.m.; APRIL: Las Acacias Cup
APRIL 5: Santa Rita Abierto, April 5, Aspen Valley Polo Club at Equuleus, 12:30 p.m.
April 16-19, Grand Champions Cup; April 23-26, USPA Spring Challenge; April 30-May 3, USPA Sun Cup; May 7-10, USPA Eastern Challenge; May 14-17, Polo Gear Challenge Cup; May 21-25, The Memorial; May 24-25, USPA NYTS; May 28-31, Santa Rita Memorial.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.
DIRECTOR OF POLO: Juan Olivera, 561-644-5050, firstname.lastname@example.org
INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi, FlexJet and Casablanca. Everyone is welcome to watch high, medium and low goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere that includes a free Argentine asado during the winter, spring and fall tournament season feature games and other special events coming up including the April 1 Polo Training Foundation Exchange: New Zealand Schools vs. Team USA, 4 p.m., April 7, New Zealand Schools Round Robin, 4 p.m., April 1-4 Women’s Championship Tournament (WCT) and International Cup in November. Admission is free except for special events.