Three golf players named All-American scholars

by Jehanna Axelrod | 7/16/15 7:25pm

Three members of the women’s golf team, Jane Lee ’15, Lily Morrison ’16 and Jessica Kittelberger ’18, were named to the Collegiate Golf All-American Scholar team. The team, which is compiled by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association, recognizes athletes who perform at a high level both on the course and in the classroom. To be eligible for recognition, golfers must compete in at least 50 percent of the tournaments, have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and be in good standing with the College.

Kittelberger arrived on campus in the fall knowing that the combination of schoolwork and the time that golf required would be difficult to handle, but she was prepared.

“I had two passions coming into college — academics and athletics,” Kittelberger said. “I balance both of those priorities.”

The GPA requirement for the All-American scholar golf team is one of the highest of any sport. Head coach Alex Kirk said he is unsure as to why this is so, but notes that the higher standard makes the feat all the more impressive.

“I think it’s just a balance of time and commitment,” Kirk said.

Though the Ivy League imposes rules on the number of classes students can miss for athletic commitments, weekend games, matches and tournaments still interfere with work time.

The golf team participates in around 10 tournaments each year, roughly split between the fall and spring seasons, so the golfers are often working from off-campus.

“They’re missing class, and they’re doing the homework on the road, in the hotel rooms or in the lobby,” Kirk said. “There are hurdles to get over.”

The golfers know to use all of their free time wisely, which often means working while on the road.

“The time I was traveling, I’d make sure that even in airplane rides of bus rides I would try to spend enough of my time doing work,” Kittelberger said.

Kittelberger was immediately successful, learning quickly how to excel in both school and athletics. In her first year as a member of the Big Green, Kittelberger competed in seven out of 10 tournaments and shot an average of 80.5. Her best showing of the year came against Brown University, where she shot a 77 and tied for first with teammate Isabelle Kane ’18.

As for Lee, this was the fourth year she had been successful in achieving a balanced academic and athletic life.

“She’s a model player, model leader and a great person,” Kirk said. This past season, Lee participated in nine tournaments and recorded an average score of 79.2, the lowest on the women’s team.

For Morrison, winning a place on the All-American scholar team is exciting, but not a new experience.

“This is actually my third time, so I won it freshman, sophomore and now junior year,” Morrison said, adding that she nonetheless is very proud and happy about the achievement.

Morrison said that as each year passes, balancing both academics and golf grows increasingly difficult.

“I think time management is a really important factor,” she said. “I definitely make sure that I am getting my school work done in addition to practicing, but I’ve really enjoyed being able to have a sport at Dartmouth because it kind of creates a schedule for you, which I have found is easier.”

Kittelberger, an aspiring environmental studies major, added that taking classes within her general field of interest facilitated her academic success.

Likewise, Morrison said that simply taking classes that she enjoys makes it a lot easier to do well in them.

“I basically just make sure that I get all my work done before tournaments,” she said. “That’s the hardest thing for me, that it’s a full day event basically, and when we’re gone for a weekend we’re normally gone for a three-day tournament so it’s really hard to do school work. I can’t really do that so I make sure that I get it all done beforehand and meet teachers outside of class to get all caught up.”

Morrison said that Lee and Kittelberger are great teammates who have compatible personalities.

“They’re both really hard working, intelligent, smart, caring people that I really love, and I’m really honored to get to be on the team with them,” she said.