Women of Western Winners: Kate Graham
Kate Graham started attending Western Winners as soon as she was old enough in 2013. A San Francisco, Bay Area native, the camp kicked off the summer for Kate and many of her peers on the West Coast. This past weekend, Kate finished her collegiate lacrosse career – also in the West – after helping her team win an MPSF Championship, earning All Conference Honors, and leading the team with 89 draw controls. She served as Captain of the University of California Davis team for 3 years, guiding her team through the turmoil of the pandemic, the uncertainty of the 2021 season, and then to a storybook ending, all things considered. Kate has one more year left of academics at UC Davis, where she is finishing her MBA, and this summer she will be interning in a Product Management role for a software company. We loved catching up with Kate and can’t wait to see what she does next!
What is your favorite Western Winners Showcase memory?
“The camp-wide college talk at Western Winners made a huge impression on me because I heard what it was like to play lacrosse at the next level directly from the [NCAA] coaches. It was really cool to get exposure to college coaches, who had for so long been a distant, or “off limits”, presence at tournaments. Talking to these people, having direct access to them as resources, was eye opening, and made me realize for the first time that it was not a crazy dream to play in college.”
How did Western Winners impact your recruiting journey?
“Western Winners gave me exposure to coaches and schools from all over the country, at a young age. It was also amazing getting to play with different people, after being used to playing with the same types of players in high school and at the club level. The different coaching styles and philosophies, mixed with the girls’ different playing styles and personalities helped me make my decision on where I wanted to be for my college experience.”
What made you want to go to UC Davis?
“UC Davis was one of the first schools to reach out to me in the recruiting process, and throughout my journey to find a home for college, they kept in touch. When I went to camp, the culture of the team was what sold me on the place. The verbally committed players and the girls already on the team were super nice, interested in learning about me, and very inclusive. The team is what made me want to be an Aggie.”
What was the best part about winning the MPSF Championship this year?
“It felt like we won the championship in a perfect way. Like the BearLax (Kate’s club team, which was founded by Theresa Sherry and eventually became part of Tenacity Project) victories, we had been fighting for the ultimate prize for so long, and with it being so tough this year in COVID, it was amazing to work hard, and get to win, after sacrificing so much. The best part of the day, and arguably the moments when we burned the most energy was when we danced for 3 hours straight on the bus ride home from the Championship Game at Fresno State. It was such an emotional investment to play in every college game, it felt good to leave it all out there- on the field and on the bus!