Student-Athlete of the Week

April 16, 2012

Laramie, Wyo. -

Athlete of the Week

Juanita Rico

You are having a great senior season, what has contributed to your success?
I think that a big part of it has been the hard work that I have put in the past three years and my confidence level has felt a lot higher too so that always helps.

Being from Canada, what made you choose UW?
I picked UW because it just felt like a great fit for me. I fell in love with Coach Stender and the team right away and the atmosphere in Laramie was perfect. I never lived in a small town before, so I thought it would be a fun new experience.

When did you start playing golf, and when did you know it was the sport for you?
My parents took me to the golf course when I was around five years old, they had recently taken up golf and became obsessed with it so I would go with them every time. As I got older, it just felt like it was something that came naturally to me. When I began competing it gave me such a cool rush that I knew it was something I wanted to keep pursuing.

What has been your most memorable round of golf?
My most memorable round of golf was when I was 14 and I went to the Junior Americas Cup in Victoria. It's a big tournament with girls from all over the West Coast of the States and Canada; it was my first time representing Alberta. I shot five under the last round and it was such an amazing feeling to play that good, it's my best round ever so it's something I'll never forget.

What is your favorite club?
Probably my 9 wood, they don't even sell those anymore it's my oldest club in my bag but it never fails me!

Where has been your favorite place to travel and compete?
My favorite place that I traveled and competed had to be BYU's tournament in St George. They have a super challenging course and the conditions were always testing your endurance so I think playing there made me a stronger player in the long run.

What are the benefits of having a smaller team like yours?
Some of the benefits of our small team are that we become so close to each other and it's like a second family, you get to know each other so well and I feel like we appreciate each other more. Also I feel like we can get more spoiled than any other team!

If you could play a round of golf with anyone, who would it be?
I think I would play a round of golf with Ben Hogan. He did so much for the game of golf and he was so successful I would have loved to know his secrets.

Do you have a ritual before your swing?
Not really. I tend to keep it pretty simple, the less thinking the better for me.

What is one thing from back home you wish Laramie had?
Well if we are talking about Canada, I really wish we had a Tim Horton's; it's definitely my go to every time. If we are talking about Colombia, I wish we had all the amazing fruit they have and especially the pineapples they grow.

What is your favorite thing about golf?
My favorite thing about golf is that there is always room for improvement. It's never perfect so it challenges you every round, I love that.

What is a typical day of practice like for you?
A typical day of practice is hitting for an hour or so, and then working on short game. Make at least 30 3-footers in a row before I leave the putting green. After that I'm good to hit the course.

What is your favorite weather to play in?
My favorite weather is definitely around 80 degrees with some overcast and a little bit of wind to make it challenging.

What are some lessons you have learned from golf that you can be beneficial in life?
Golf has taught me so many valuable life-lessons. I have learned to be patient with myself and I have learned that sometimes you do get a second chance and you cannot take those for granted. Mostly to enjoy the ride to the max and the little things that don't seem to matter are actually what makes the most difference in the end.

What will you miss the most about UW Golf?
Making amazing memories is what I will miss the most! I will miss my teammates and my Coach, who is like my second mom and also the team feasts we always have together of course.