Albion College golfer Megan Moco came four strokes away from achieving all-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association status, but she left the course after the league's fall championship with a more important prize.
The junior from Grosse Ile, Mich., was voted as the recipient of the league's sportsmanship award.
Moco entered the 36-hole fall championship in position to gain an all-MIAA award, however, her putter betrayed her as she posted two rounds of 84. She added a normal putting day would have shaved five strokes off her average, likely lifting her among the top 12 players who achieve all-league distinction.
"I didn't think it would happen this year," Moco said, believing the award is usually reserved for seniors. "However, I work hard to keep a positive attitude with other competitors.
"I finished 14th among individuals in the league las year, and I had set a goal of achieving first team status," she added. "It turned out to be one of our best team finishes, and knowing I have another year to accomplish my personal goal, I accepted that I worked as hard as I could."
That's not to say becoming an encouraging presence on the course came easy for Moco. She said a bad shot used to linger with her for holes, as opposed to now where she looks for opportunities to make up the shot she lost.
While her playing partners benefit from the encouragement, Moco says the positive energy pushes her to play her best when paired with the best the MIAA has to offer.
"I love playing with the best because it challenges me," Moco said. "I challenge myself to be next to those individuals on the leader board."
In nominating Moco for the sportsmanship award, Albion assistant coach Jake Maas described her as "one of the most competitive people you will ever meet." With her final collegiate campaign still to come, Moco has established clear goals for herself and her teammates.
"I need to bring the team together and see my teammates get better," she said, noting that the goal is to finish among top four teams to advance to the spring competition for the MIAA's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Championship. "I will push myself in hopes that my leadership will rub off on somebody else. I would like to see somebody on the (Albion) team win the sportsmanship award."
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