As senior Ana Sanjuan approaches the end of her career as a member of the women’s golf team, she is trying not to focus on winning tournaments or making the next step as a professional. Instead, she said her main goal is to leave a mark on the program before she leaves.
Sanjuan said she was inspired by former teammate Camille Chevalier, who set an example as a strong leader for the team as a senior last season. Sanjuan said when Chevalier graduated, it felt like someone was missing from the clubhouse, and she wants her teammates to feel the same way when she is done.
“I’m always there for my teammates, on and off the golf course, so I just want to keep supporting them and be a leader,” Sanjuan said. “I want to play really well this semester and be a great senior, so that’s why I’m working really hard.”
IU Coach Clint Wallman said Sanjuan’s goal of leaving a mark on the program shows how important it is to her and how dedicated she is to the team.
“Ana will be successful in whatever she does because you can teach people skills, but you can’t teach their values,” Wallman said. “That was one of the things that we liked about Ana was she has good values, and you can do a lot with someone that wants to make the most of her opportunity.”
During the fall season, Sanjuan took advantage of those opportunities. She had the lowest scoring average on the team through 11 rounds with a 72.73 and shot the three best individual rounds for the Hoosiers. She also finished in the top 10 in two of the team’s four fall tournaments.
Wallman said Sanjuan’s senior leadership off the course has made it easier for him as a coach to deal with the day-to-day business of the team and her leadership on the course has set a good example for the younger players on the team.
“The best way for anyone on the team to affect the team result is to do their job, and that’s exactly what she does,” Wallman said. “She’s about the team first, but she understands that for the team to perform at a high level she has to take care of her business.”
Wallman said it has been a pleasure to coach Sanjuan and he hopes to have her around the team when she returns to IU for a post-graduate degree in sports management in the fall.
While Sanjuan focuses on leaving a mark, she is also looking forward to the IU Spring Invitational, which will be the first and only tournament she has played on IU’s home course. Because of scheduling conflicts in recent years, the tournament hasn’t been able to take place, but Wallman said he wanted to give the seniors an opportunity to play at home. She said it will be special to play in front of her friends and supporters and that she would love to win the tournament.
Sanjuan said she feels positive as her career comes to a close and she will feel good as long as she gives everything she has in her final season.
“I don’t know if I’m going to play well or not, but I know I’m going to give my best so I think that counts more,” Sanjuan said. “I’m very confident and positive because I know I’m not going to give up, and that’s what counts, and sometimes when you don’t give up, that’s when you play well.”
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