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Danecdotes: Heggerston ready for senior season - PL grad named captain for Gophers

Pequot grad Maggie Heggerston has played in 18 tournaments for the Golden Gophers, with an average score of 78. She will serve as team captain in her senior season. Ryan Meyer/University of Minnesota Athletics

Pequot Lakes graduate Maggie Heggerston has found success as a member of the University of Minnesota women's golf team over the past three seasons.

In her final year of college golf, she will do so as the Gophers' team captain.

Captains are chosen by a team vote among players and coaches. Heggerston was the unanimous choice.

"It is really cool that my team unanimously voted for me," the Crosslake resident said. "It makes me feel extremely grateful and pretty loved, actually. Being captain is cool, but knowing that everyone wanted me in this position gives me more confidence to be a good leader for them and, hopefully, bring out the best in them."

As a member of the Patriots golf team, Heggerston shot a two-day score of 143 to tie for the Class AA state individual title. Shortly before that, she set a school and state record with an 18-hole score of 62.

Moving on to Division-I golf, Heggerston admits the transition was more dramatic than anticipated.

"I thought 'how much harder can golf be?' but the stakes are a lot higher and you are playing from farther yardages," Heggerston said. "Everyone you are competing against was you in high school - they were all the best in their areas. You can't really prepare for that, and you don't realize it until you are there ... You have to completely reset your mind and your confidence level."

While she has always had an advantage from the tee box, Heggerston feels she has had to greatly improve her short game since starting with the Gophers.

"I was able to get around it on the shorter courses in high school, but now that I'm actually playing on longer yardages, I have had to really improve my chipping, putting and pitching," she said.

As the Gophers' season begins on Monday, Sept. 10, in Woodbury, Heggerston is not focused on her scores so much as she is on enjoying her final year in maroon and gold.

"It sounds kind of stupid, but this is my last year and I just want to give it my 100 percent and just have fun," Heggerston said. "I want to be able to look back on my senior year and say 'That was my best year of golf.' It doesn't have to be score-wise - although it would be great if it was - but I want to know I gave it 100 percent and I had a blast.

"It would be great to score well, and I want to score well for my team, but we have so many good players this year that I feel so comfortable where we are at ... Everyone can be a top player for us."

Though she is not focused on scores, the new captain would like to see her team qualify for the regional tournament in her senior year.

As she nears graduation, Heggerston is unsure of her plans for the future, but says golf is not a "career move" for her. With a degree in applied economics, she is more focused on where she would like to be instead what she would like to do. Though a career in golf is not on the table at the moment, she insists she is keeping her options open.

Regardless of her next step, she believes the lessons she learned through the sport - especially independence and time management - will help her both in her personal life and in the work force.

"There are so many things that go into being a student-athlete, and there are so many aspects of your life you have to dedicate your time to. You have to be strategic about it. Especially with golf - and how time-consuming it is - I think the biggest thing I have learned is just how to delegate my time."

Dan Determan

Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper.

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