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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

A Rising Star’s Journey in Collegiate Golf, Eagle freshman Leeann Harker

From Casual Player to Tournament Champion: Overcoming Challenges and Setting New Goals
Claudia Adcock
Eagle golfer Leeann Harker swings during a round of golf.

There are athletes in the golf world whose skill, commitment, and perseverance make them stand out. One such athlete is Ashland University’s rising star on the golf team, freshman Leeann Harker. Leeann’s career, which began with her casual playing days and resulted in her outstanding university exploits, is a tribute to perseverance, hard effort, and the persistent pursuit of perfection.

In the fifth grade, Harker started her golf career by picking up a club and going to summer camps. Golf was initially just a nice hobby for her, even though she made the middle school team and even gained a spot on one of the varsity teams during her freshman year of high school. But for Harker, the COVID-19 outbreak marked a change.

She said, “When COVID hit, I had nothing else to do and went to the course twice a day for hours, which helped me realize I loved the game and wanted to play competitive golf.”

Ashland University’s small-town charm and Christian principles played a role in Harker’s decision to enroll there.

She said, “The reason I chose AU was because it is a Christian school where I can be with other believers. I also enjoy the small-town school atmosphere because I feel valued.”

Making the switch to university golf presented a unique set of difficulties, especially getting used to the more intense competition of the game at this level.

“Since I am a freshman, the challenges I have faced so far have been adjusting to a new team and coach because I’ve been at the high school level which is very different and more lowkey.”

It also took commitment and mental courage to get a spot on the travel team for Harker. She ignored outside demands in favor of improving her mental game and concentrating on her own performance.

Harker’s diligence and persistence paid off as she clinched 1st place at the Gannon Invite and did admirably in previous competitions.

“I knew my swing was feeling good heading into the Gannon tourney, but I needed to keep my composure because I knew the weather would be unpredictable,” she says, looking back on her victory. Her success is evident in the many hours she has spent perfecting her skills.

Harker has high expectations for both her squad and herself as she starts her college career. Her goal by her senior year is to help her team go to regionals annually and hopefully get to the national championships. She wants to get better at what she does and help the team stay together by doing more bonding exercises.

Leeann Harker has already had a big impact on Ashland University’s golf team in her first year of play. Her transition from a recreational player to a collegiate athlete in the competitive ranks is evidence of her drive, commitment, and unflinching resolve. Looking ahead, Leeann’s ambitions demonstrate her dedication to quality in both her on- and off-the-course endeavors. With her talent and determination, Leeann Harker’s career possibilities are endless as she continues to leave her imprint in the world of golf.

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