The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Her big break
Riley Sexton is one of the best golfers for City College. Kate Paloy | [email protected]

City College golfer Riley Sexton broke her legs at age 13, an accident that not only changed her life but also got
her into playing golf.

At 13, Sexton was riding behind her dad on a quad-runner off-road vehicle when a dog chased along side her and bit her front tire. This caused the quad to flip over and land on top of her legs, breaking both of them.

Sexton’s leg injuries forced her to rethink her goals. She initially wanted to be a volleyball star, but after the accident Sexton instead turned her interests to golf, a sport with much less impact on her legs.

Now 19, Sexton, undecided major, excels at the sport; she was named California Community College Athletic Association’s 2011 Big 8 conference MVP. She continues to post low scores in tournament play.

Sexton says she enjoys golf because it makes her think.

“Golf is a mental sport,” said Sexton. “And that’s why I love it.”

Head coach Tim Kiernan says Sexton is focused, competitive and a team player. He says that her strength is her power.

“This is the beginning of her career and she has a lot more to grow to be greater,” said Kiernan.

When she’s not practicing at school, Sexton works with a professional swing coach. The sessions, Sexton says, are helping her to become a better golfer, but she also has other parts of her game she hopes to master.

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Sexton’s teammate, 18 year-old freshman Lauren Dahl, calls Sexton the No.1 golfer on the team.

“Riley plays very well and I feel she will continue to play better as the season continues,” said Dahl. “Her competitive nature drives me as an athlete as well, and we all have to keep up with her”.

“I have no doubt that Riley [Sexton] will go pro because she is very dedicated and an amazing athlete,” she added.

Sexton was born in Pittsburg, a small Bay Area town 40 minutes away from Sacramento. She has a big family: two brothers and three sisters, all of whom she calls her support system. The golfer says her family motivates her to succeed, especially her dad, who before the accident, wouldn’t let her take up golf because she was already playing too many other sports, a decision she says he would later regret.

“My dad is extremely supportive and the main person pushing me to practice to be better and [to] succeed,” said Sexton.

Sexton says her main focus is school and golf, but she also runs a business with her mom breeding miniature Australian shepherds. She plans to pursue a career in professional golf and attend a four-year university, and says that her education is very important to her. One day she hopes to settle down and have a family.

“I hope to have a family but don’t know how big,” she said. “I will decide when I get to that point in my life.”

Sexton says she practices to be the best, but doesn’t feel as though she’s met that goal yet, and until that is reached she won’t be satisfied. Golf is a stressful sport, she says, but even though frustration made her hate it for two years, there was also something about it she couldn’t get enough of.

“Golf is a love/hate relationship,” she said. “And I’m addicted.”

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