COLLEGE STATION, Texas. – Three-time NCAA Champion head coach Andrea Gaston continued to build toward the future she envisions for the Texas A&M women’s golf program with the addition of two talented golfers that will join the Aggies for the 2020-21 season.
Signing with the blossoming Texas A&M golf program were standout Canadian junior golfer Ellie Szeryk (London, Ontario, Canada) and Texas junior all-star Makenzie Niblett (Austin, Texas). The newest members of Gaston’s team bring impressive resumes of success to Aggieland.
“I am proud to be adding two terrific young ladies to our Aggie roster next season,” Gaston said. “Ellie and Makenzie are both seasoned competitors that I expect to lead our program into the next decade of Aggie Women’s Golf. They value the Texas A&M culture, traditions and core values. They both recognize and appreciate the opportunity that our great university affords, especially to our student-athletes.”
In her second year at Texas A&M after a long and successful tenure at the University of Southern California, Gaston continues to build the Aggie women’s program in the mold of her Trojan teams that won three NCAA team crowns and produced five NCAA individual champions and 13 straight NCAA top five finishes.
“Our players have worked tirelessly to compete and move up the ranks,” Gaston added. “I know they are excited to make history and bring Texas A&M Women’s Golf to the forefront of collegiate golf where competing for championships will be the norm.
“With our current freshman Blanca Fernández García-Poggio and the addition of Ellie and Makenzie next season, we will continue working toward that goal to reach new heights within our program. We want our players to feel empowered, be accountable and take ownership of their actions. (Assistant coach) Katerina (Bruner) and I are committed to helping our players grow within our program and prepare them for their futures both on and off the course.”
Signee Biographical Information
Austin, Texas (Vandegrift)
· Currently ranked No. 55 in the Golfweek Girls Junior Rankings
· Two-time member of the AJGA All-Star Team (2017 and 2018)
· Two-time recipient of the TJGT Sportsmanship Award
· Placed 64th at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur (Nashville, Tenn.)
· Qualified for the 2019 U.S. Girls Junior Championship (Stevens Point, Wisc.)
· Two-time individual champion at the LJT Texas Girls Invitational (2017 and 2018)
· Also logged individual victories at the 2019 Payne Stewart Junior Championship (72-71-69) and the 2018 AJGA Tathatha Golf Junior All-Star Championship (73-73)
· Tied for second at the 2018 Payne Stewart Junior
· Tallied top 10 finishes at 2019 AJGA Girls Rolex Junior Championship and 2019 Kathy Whitworth Invitational and top 15 efforts at the 2019 Swing Skirts AJGA Invitational, 2019 AJGA PING Heather Farr Classic and 2017 Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship
· Competes for Vandegrift High School and is coached by Matt Wernecke
“I chose Texas A&M because it represents values that mean so much to me. I believe the coaches, environment and facilities will be significant to my improvement, as I continue to excel and develop my game. Through faith, life and skill, I hope to make a positive impact on and off the golf course by exemplifying excellence along with the habits and mindset of a champion. I look forward to the opportunity to be a part of Aggie Women’s Golf as we pursue success and the highest goals together. Gig ’Em!!”
“Makenzie is a high achiever both in the classroom and on the course. From the moment I met her, I knew Makenzie had a strong desire to compete at the highest level. I’m excited about her passion and tenacity for the game. She’s gotten a lot out of her game this past year, however, I’m very excited about her attention to detail and effort that she is putting in with her game to prepare for competing at the next level. She’s determined to compete for championships and I believe the work she is doing now will prepare her as she joins us next season.”
London, Ontario, Canada
· Two-year member of Canada’s National Junior Team (2017-18 and 2018-19)
· Competed in the World Girls Junior Championship for Team Canada in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
· Advanced to the Round of 64 at the 2019 British Girls Championship and the Round of 32 at the 2018 British Girls Championship
· Competed in the LPGA CP Canadian Women’s Open in 2018
· Has posted multiple top 10 efforts at the Canadian Junior Championship
· Won the Ontario Women’s Amateur in 2018 and the Ontario Junior Girls in 2017
· Competed in the Canadian Amateur and South American Amateur in 2019
· Helped Team Canada to a bronze medal finish at the 2018 Toyota World Cup Championship
· Earned a runner-up finish at the 2018 CN Pacific Links
· Played in the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy in 2017.
· Younger sister of former Texas A&M All-American Maddie Szeryk, who set the NCAA record for career rounds at par-or-better (91 from 2014-18).
“My decision to go to Texas A&M was probably one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. You take one step on campus and it instantly motivates you to be better. There’s no place quite like Aggieland, and I can’t wait to start the next journey of my life at such phenomenal facilities and under even better coaches!”
“Ellie’s best golf is out in front of her. She brings her competitive spirit and incredible work ethic that will make an immediate impact on our team. She is tremendously passionate about ‘team,’ especially as she brings her years of experience competing for Team Canada National Junior squad. Ellie has had a lot of experience competing in different parts of the world that will add to the depth and breadth of our team.”