CEDAR RAPIDS — Xavier senior Ellie Braksiek fell in love with golf her freshman year and has never faltered in her goal to compete in college.
Braksiek first swam competitively for Cedar Rapids Washington High School, then she went out for something new — girls’ golf.
“Ellie started golf her freshman year and instantly fell in love with it,” said Heidi Braksiek, Ellie’s mom. “She has worked extremely hard over the past four years to achieve what she has achieved.”
After her freshman swimming season, Ellie decided to put all her focus on golf. She began taking lessons at Elmcrest Country Club to perfect her craft.
“She puts 100 percent into everything she does. She is very dedicated to being the best possible person and golfer she can be,” Robert Braksiek, Ellie’s dad, said. “She puts in many hours of work on her swing and her short game.”
Ellie’s work ethic shines on the course. She placed fifth at state meet in 2018 and 2019 and was a part of the Saints’ third-place team finish in 2019.
“My favorite quality I see in Ellie is her ability to never give up. Even if she has a bad day on the course, she is able to go out the next day with more motivation to improve,” Heidi said.
Ellie’s younger sister, Riley Braksiek, is a sophomore at Xavier and Ellie’s teammate.
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“Ellie is an awesome older sister. We are best friends and she always makes me laugh,” Riley said. “I look up to Ellie because she is a hard worker and she is determined to reach her goals.”
Ellie’s work ethic was driven by her goal to become a collegiate golfer. In November, that goal became reality when she signed her National Letter of Intent to play golf at Iowa State University.
“We are excited for her to make the leap from high school to college golf. She has come a long way in the past four years as a person and as a player,” Robert said. “We are excited to see what she can accomplish the next four years, both on and off the golf course.”
The 2020 golf season remains on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.