Following impressive finish to the fall, CSU eager for successful spring

Mack Beaulieu

The Colorado State women’s golf team will be back in action next week after a long layover from a fall finish where the team showed glimpses of its full potential.

Female college golfer swinging driver
Junior Katrina Prendergast drives the ball during the fall season in 2017. (Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)

Using each other as barometers, the young team hopes to push themselves to the top of more tournaments this spring.

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“One thing with this team is that they feed off of competition, they feed off trying to beat one another,” coach Annie Young said. “I think it helps to have a very competitive team that always wants to win in whatever they’re doing.”

Veteran leadership is scarce on this team. Besides junior Katrina Prendergast, the team does not have a single upperclassman in their ranks. However, after a tough finish at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown on Oct. 24 and a talking to from Young, the team seemed galvanized. Competitive individuals playing in a team format may just help keep this team on course, as the they finished third in their next tournament at the UC Irvine Invitational.

“We got hit with a good dose of reality after that UNLV tournament,” sophomore Ellen Secor said. “I think that still motivates us, our three new girls are very competitive girls and they don’t like losing. I think that helps keep us three returners focused…I think they motivated us as well just to be like, ‘Let’s go win this UC Irvine tournament.’”

It’s the first time at CSU that Secor has really felt that sense from the whole team.

“Last year was a rebuilding year for us,” Secor continued. “We kind of had to take a step back… and I think adding these three girls definitely was a big key in why this team is so motivated and played well at UC Irvine.”

Prendergast echoed the thoughts of Secor on their third-place finish at the Invitational.

“Everyone tried to play their best and put everything they had into that last tournament to show everyone what we had,” Prendergast said. “We may not have come out with a W, but we put ourselves in the position at least and we had never really done that before.”

The team looks to use this momentum going forward to make regionals, and possibly the NCAA tournament. Prendergast knows it’s up to the team to carry that momentum into the spring portion of their schedule. The veteran is keeping a level head and it seems as though the rest of the team is as well by getting in the work over winter break.

“It’s always good to end the spring season well, but we’ve got to keep that going the whole year,” Prendergast said. “That break in between sometimes can break us, but I hope that all the work we’ve put in can pay off and carry into this season.”

Woman swings a driver
Sophomore Ellen Secor takes a swing during the fall season in 2017. (Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)

With many players fighting the elements over break, they were forced to work on their short game indoors while practicing other mechanics outside. The Rams’ typical No. 2, Secor came back early from the comfort of home in Oregon for the luxury of indoor facilities in Fort Collins.

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“Its hard going back home to practice when you don’t have a heated bay to hit out of or an indoor putting green to put on or chip on,” Secor said. “I had a rough time practicing when I was at home, but I just decided to come back 10 days early to get back into the groove of things.”

Her teammates have been just as committed, according to Young.

“Coming back, its very obvious that they’ve put in some good time,” Young said. “They’re ready to go… All of them have come back with excitement to play and get out and just start competing right away.”

Prendergast and Secor are world ranked amateurs while sophomore transfers Brooke Nolte and Fiona Hebbel competed at the top of their conferences last year. Two former high school state champions in sophomore Jessica Sloot and freshman Haley Greb round out the young roster.

Competing against each other, the talented Rams will look to build one another’s strengths heading into the spring season.

Collegian sports reporter Mack Beaulieu can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on twitter @Macknz_James.