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SAM McQueen didn’t know many people in Columbus when she moved from New York prior to her freshman year of high school.
So when she attended tryouts for the Columbus North girls golf team, McQueen was happy to find a friendly face in fellow freshman Lauren Backmeyer. To their surprise, the pair were wearing matching black Adidas shoes.
“She showed up on the first day of tryouts our freshman year, and we’ve been friends since,” McQueen said.
If you go
What: New Castle Regional
Where: Westwood Golf Course
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Participating teams: Batesville, Cathedral, Chatard, Columbus East, Columbus North, Connersville, Delta, Fishers, Greenwood, Hagerstown, Hamilton Southeastern, Lawrence North, Mt. Vernon (Fortville), Muncie Southside, Noblesville, Union County, Whiteland, Yorktown
Advancement: Top three teams and top five individuals on non-qualifying teams advance to the Oct. 4 and 5 state finals at Legends Golf Club in Franklin.
McQueen and Backmeyer now are seniors and co-captains for the 17th-ranked Bull Dogs, who will play in the New Castle Regional on Saturday. A top-three finish would send them to next weekend’s state finals.
“There’s definitely nerves, but I think if we all pull low numbers, we have a chance,” McQueen said. “If we all pull together and not have two people do good and two people do bad, we can do it. We have a lot of pressure, but there’s no reason that we couldn’t pull it out.”
“We have to remember that every shot counts,” Backmeyer said. “Every little swing, even if it goes five feet, that still counts, and that could be a deciding factor.”
McQueen has been playing No. 2 for North behind junior Sydney Anderson, while Backmeyer plays No. 5. Last week, they helped the Bull Dogs to wins in the Conference Indiana Tournament and the Greensburg Sectional.
“We’re pretty happy with how we’ve played,” Backmeyer said. “We’ve played our best at the end of the season, which is when it really matters. For how we thought this season would go, it’s gone well.”
After playing junior varsity their freshman year, McQueen and Backmeyer have been varsity players the past three years. McQueen went from averaging around 100 for 18 holes as a freshman to around 85 this season.
“I think throughout the past four years, all of our scores have dropped,” Backmeyer said. “You become more consistent the more you play, and by your fourth year of high school, you’re into the routine of things and know what’s expected of you and how you have to perform.”
North coach Scott Seavers said McQueen is very consistent and a good putter. Backmeyer hits it off the tee a long way and also is a strong putter.
“Both of them have a good work ethic,” Seavers said. “They’ve provided a lot of good golf for me over the last three years. I can count on them.”
McQueen and Backmeyer are fond of the memories they’ve made while playing golf for the Bull Dogs.
“Each team every year has been amazing,” McQueen said. “We all get along, and it makes practice go easier.”
“We couldn’t have had better teams to be a part of, honestly,” Backmeyer said. “We still keep in touch with the girls that have been above us. There’s only 12 of us on the team, so you’re with each other for seven weeks, and you’re with them all the time. You become really close.”
Although they plan to continue playing recreationally, their competitive golf careers are about to come to an end. Backmeyer, who is a basketball cheerleader in the winter, plans to attend Indiana University and major in social work. McQueen is deciding between University of Indianapolis, Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky and plans to major in special education.
“Both of them are great students,” Seavers said. “They both work hard in the classroom and earn excellent grades. They’re nice young ladies. They provide a good example for the younger girls, and I’ve enjoyed being with them for four years.”
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