CEDAR RAPIDS — Xavier junior Ellie Braksiek has been working every possible moment to improve her golf game, even during spring break.
“I practiced every day last summer,” Braksiek said. “During the winter, I practice indoors at Elmcrest (Country Club). I also get lessons from my coach, Larry Gladson, once a week. I went to Palm Springs for spring break, and I was able to play four full rounds and practice every day.”
Through all of Braksiek’s hard work, she has goals she wants to achieve — not only for herself, but for her team.
“My biggest goal this year is to make it to state as a team,” Braksiek said. “I would also love to get my stroke average under 40.”
Within all of the goals Braksiek is trying to achieve, her effort has rewarded her by being named captain at the end of last season.
“On and off the course she is a very good team leader,” Head coach Julie Kadlec said. “In fact, last year after the state meet, I asked her and senior Libby Kramer to join up and be team captains for this year. She is a motivator not only for herself but she wants to draw other girls in and try to dish off her passion for the sport to them.”
The dedication of Braksiek’s practice does not go unnoticed by assistant coach Patrick Flanagan.
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“She has a passion for the game that I have not seen in a player that I have coached in eight years,” Flanagan said. “She is willing to do the hard work that needs to be done to get better.”
This is Flanagan’s first year as assistant for the girls’ golf team.
“I’m looking forward to see these girls get better at golf as the season progresses, and I think they are going to do really well with their season overall,” Flanagan said.
The Saints are playing in the annual CRANDIC golf tournament today at Brown Deer Golf Courses in Coralville.