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A Hispanic Heritage highlight in WSU sports

Weber State Athletics
Weber State women’s golf player, Isabell Gutierrez-Paillaud.

Weber State University hosts a lot of students who come from outside Utah as well as the United States. Many of these students come from Latino backgrounds, providing Weber with a variety of cultures, talents, values and athleticism.

Jeims Molina, a thrower in men’s track and field, and Isabel Gutierrez-Paillaud, who plays women’s golf, are two of these students here at Weber that succeed in many ways, especially athletically.

Molina is from the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica, and lived there all his life. This is his first year at Weber, and academically, he is a sophomore studying computer science. His events for track and field are discus, shot put and hammer, but discus is his main event.

“In Costa Rica, several athletes decided to come to the United States, which sparked my interest, and I found Weber State,” Molina said.

Molina is also on the Costa Rican National team. He holds the Central American record in the discus throw at 51.03 meters in the U20 category. Molina has been Central American champion three times, held the national record for shot put in U16, and has participated in the Pan American and NACAC Champions.

“I am quite excited to start my season here at Weber State,” Molina said. “In Costa Rica, I only saw my coach once a week. At Weber, I see my coach every day, and I feel that this can be a great point for improvement.”

Gutierrez-Paillaud is from Mexico City and is majoring in business economics. Gutierrez-Paillaud plays for Weber State’s women’s golf team. On Oct. 9 and 10, the women traveled to Spokane, Washington, for the Eagle Invitational, where they placed second as a team. Gutierrez-Paillaud shot rounds of 71, 68 and 77 for a 3-over-par 216, allowing her to finish second overall.

“I started playing golf when I was 6 years old,” Gutierrez-Paillaud said. “There was a professional women’s golf tournament at the golf course where I played, and my dad took me to watch it. He would hold me on his shoulders, and I would watch the players. When I was 10, I started playing competitively. I chose Weber State because of the coaches, the way they treat and work with the athletes, and the team dynamic.”

In 2021-2022, Gutierrez-Paillaud opened her collegiate career with a tie for 49th at the Hobble Creek Fall Classic and shot a career-best 1-under-par 71 in the opening round of the Kelsey Chugg Invitational, where she tied for 4th while playing as an individual.

“Playing college golf is not easy,” Gutierrez-Paillaud said. “Sometimes, we have to play 36 holes a day, which is around 11 hours long, so it is very mentally and physically challenging. What motivates me to do my best is my team. I know they are trying their best as well. I treat each tournament as a chance to give my best effort and a chance to enjoy the golf course. I remind myself to be grateful for the chance to travel with the team and to play golf.”

Gutierrez-Paillaud came out strong in the spring season, with top-25 finishes over her final three tournaments and tied for 13th at the Red Rocks Invitational. She opened the Bobcat Desert Classic with a 1-under par 71 and finished tied for 21st with a total of 23. Gutierrez-Paillaud shot an opening round 3-under par 69 in the opening round of the Big Sky Conference Championships, which included a hole-in-one on the par-3 sixth hole at Talking Stick. She ended the Big Sky Championships with a 5-over par total of 221, tying for 9th overall.

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Jacoba Jones
Jacoba Jones, Sports reporter

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