SAAC Spotlight: Montana State Billings' Haylee Gunter
Haylee Gunter finished the 2019 season with two assists and four goals, including the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Central Washington on Oct. 31 in Billings.
Haylee Gunter finished the 2019 season with two assists and four goals, including the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Central Washington on Oct. 31 in Billings.
Haylee Gunter
Haylee Gunter

Friday, December 18, 2020

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institutions’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institution campuses.

Name: Haylee Gunter
Women's Soccer
Montana State University Billings
Health and Human Performance
Buckley, Washington

Why Did You Choose To Attend Montana State Billings?: I chose to attend Montana State Billings because I had the opportunity to play soccer and Montana seemed like my kind of place. I'm thankful because I realize MSUB offers much more than that. I've created friendships here that will last a lifetime. My team now feels like a family.

What Is Your Favorite Class You Have Taken And Why?: My favorite class I've taken so far was Nutrition for Sports and Exercise. I liked it because I learned about how to fuel my body before and after exercising and I could apply it to my sport.

Who Is Your Favorite Professor And What Did You Enjoy About Learning From Him Or Her?: My favorite professor is Jeff Willardson. Jeff is also our team’s strength and conditioning coach. He's one of the most caring professors I've ever had. I am taking multiples of his classes so sometimes I see him two or three times a day. He has a smile on his face every day and welcomes you by name into his classroom. Jeff teaches classes, trains athletes and is an advisor, but he still puts in the effort to get to know every student and athlete whom he works with.

Years Involved In SAAC: Two years.

The Reason You Chose To Get Involved In SAAC: I thought SAAC would be a good way to strengthen my leadership skills and get more involved with athletics outside of soccer.

How Do You Feel Participating In SAAC Will Help You In Life After You Graduate?: It will help me to build leadership and communication skills that will be important in my future profession.

What Does It Mean To You To Be A Division II Student-Athlete?: I'm very grateful to be a student-athlete. No one in my family has attended college, let alone competed as a Division II athlete. It makes me feel thankful that my family and previous coaches were able to help me get to where I am today.

What Is The Most Important Thing You’ve Learned About Balancing Athletics And Academics?: The most important thing I've learned is that I’m not going to perfectly balance everything in my life. It's OK because I just have to keep doing my best.

Biggest Obstacle Overcome During Your Collegiate Career: The biggest obstacle for me was getting through my freshman year. It was hard to be away from my family for so long, so pushing through that physical separation from them was hard. I'm very happy that I stuck with it because I have met some great people here and grown so much as a person.

Favorite Thing About Competing In The GNAC: The competitiveness. There is never an easy game in the GNAC and you always have to bring it.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: Playing against Concordia during my sophomore season. Concordia was the defending GNAC Championships winner but we won 2-1. We put everything we had into that match and that showed how much this program has grown over the last few years. When the final whistle was blown, our team was celebrating. It was just one of those moments that I will never forget.

Best Advice You’d Give To An Incoming Freshman: You're probably going to mess up a few times on the field, in the classroom or in life. Cut yourself some slack. We've all been there.

If You Could Spend The Day With One Person (Past Or Present), Who Would It Be (And Why)?: I would spend the day with my grandma. She's in a nursing home back in Washington but I wasn't able to see her over the summer due to COVID-19. I haven't seen her since last winter break. I would like to go back to a day when there was no COVID-19 and we can hang out like we used to.

Extracurricular Activities: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Future Goals After Graduation: After graduation, I plan to continue my education in an accelerated nursing program where I can get a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Favorite Sports Team: U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

One Thing People Don’t Know About Me Is: I grew up racing quads. I decided to stop once I verbally committed to play soccer at MSUB because I didn't want to get hurt while racing.