Senior golfer lives close to nature back home
Sport: Women’s golf
Hometown: Parkersburg, W.Va.
Major: Human development and family sciences
Question: Let’s start in wild, wonderful West Virginia, your home state. Is it really “almost heaven?”
Answer: It really is beautiful! My state is home to wildlife, gorgeous scenery and of course the mountains that run all around the state. We’ve had a wild sheep, a bear, several deer, turkeys, coyotes, raccoons, squirrels and more come to our home. We had a black bear nap in our bushes just mere feet from our front door. My family and I have grown to appreciate the outdoors, which is where the beauty in the state lies.
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Q: I see two hometowns listed for you, Elizabeth and Parkersburg; how does that work? Were you born in one and raised in the other?
A: Technically, I’m from Elizabeth. It’s a small city of 800 people. Parkersburg is the bigger city that people actually have heard of, so I mention it when describing where I’m from.
Q: How often do you get back?
A: I don’t get back home much apart from holidays. It’s kind of sad that Columbus is only 2 hours, 15 minutes away, and I haven’t been home all semester. My sport and school take up the majority of my time.
Q: Do you have a big extended family back there?
A: I have a small family in or near Parkersburg. My mom, dad and younger sister live there. My younger brother attends WVU, so he lives in Morgantown. I also have two grandmas, one grandpa and two step-grandparents. My uncle Brad and aunt Katie are also from the area.
Q: What’s a brief rundown of your immediate family?
A: My dad (Lance) is a dentist with his own practice, and my mom (Daneen) manages that practice. My 19-year-old brother (Chance) attends WVU with a major in chemistry. He hopes to take over my dad’s dental practice in the distant future. My 17-year-old sister (Catreena) is in her final year of high school. She is a great volleyball player who hopes to play in college.
Q: Who would you say is the most famous athlete ever to come out of Parkersburg?
A: Well, I don’t know many from Parkersburg specifically. I know Chase Fieler was a great basketball player. I believe he still plays professionally. I think Mary Lou Retton, the former gymnast, was the most famous athlete to come from West Virginia. I might be a bit biased though, since I’m a former gymnast.
Q: I have family in Huntington, so I know where to go for a quick meal there (the Midway!). What’s the best non-chain option in Parkersburg?
A: We don’t have many besides chains. The one I can think of is Jimmy Colombo’s Italian Restaurant. It has the greatest garlic bread ever. Also, DiCarlos is a great pizza place to get the biggest and best pepperoni rolls.
Q: I’m told that Colombo’s has 8x10 photos all over the wall of famous sports figures with ties to the city. Are you among them?
A: Yes, I believe I am. They asked for my picture probably five years ago when I was in high school.
Q: What are the best golfing options in the Parkersburg area?
A: Parkersburg has nothing spectacular like Columbus does, with so many great courses within 15 miles. I’d say the best course in the area is the Parkersburg Country Club, where I play when I’m home.
Q: Who taught you the game?
A: My mother is a former golfer for Winthrop University, so she knows a thing or two about the game.
Q: What has been the highlight of your golfing career? Two-time champion of the West Virginia Women’s Amateur?
A: I am actually a five-time West Virginia Am champion. My very first win was definitely the highlight. Before the final round, I was five shots behind the leader. I told the newspaper to not count me out because I felt that anything could happen. I was right and ended up winning by quite a few shots. It was definitely an emotional win that I’ll never forget.
Q: Is it correct that you have had holes-in-one and double eagles in competition? Which was more exciting?
A: I’ve had two holes-in-one and two double eagles. My first hole-in-one was by far the most exciting. We all got to see it go in the hole, whereas my first double eagle was holed out from 200 yards.
Q: Do you have a favorite golf course that you’ve played?
A: I liked the Teeth of the Dog course in the Dominican Republic. We got to play there last spring as a team. Half of its holes were beachside, which made it incredibly beautiful.
Q: What course that you haven’t played would you most like to get on?
A: Getting the opportunity to play Pebble Beach would be a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to play that course because of how challenging it looks and the beautiful sights to see.
Q: What would you say is the strength of your game, and what area do you need to work on?
A: I’m an accuracy queen with a pretty good short game. I would say that if I could improve somewhere specifically, it would be gaining some distance and also getting approaches closer to the hole.
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how cool is it that Ohio State has an indoor facility where you can work on your golf game?
A: Obviously, I’m going to say 10! Our facility is amazing. Being at a school where the weather can get cold, I’m grateful that we have an indoor place where we can work on our game throughout the winter months. I thank Walt (donors) Walt and Jane Dennis and the many others who made it possible for us.
Q: These past few months have been pretty eventful for you. Was it more surprising and exciting to be on a Big Ten champion golf team in April or to get engaged in July?
A: It was a great feeling being on the Big Ten championship team, but I’m a true softy for romance. Everyone on my team can attest to that. I’m going to marry the love of my life, which makes my engagement more exciting for me. I’ll always be a Big Ten champ, but it means way more to me to always feel loved by the man that loves me.
Q: How did young Shannon pop the question?
A: My family went on a vacation to Destin, Florida. Shannon came with us and proposed along the shore. It was a special moment for me that I had been waiting on. I knew he was going to propose at some point, but I didn’t know when. It was a big surprise that he did it there!
Q: I understand you have very specific future plans. True?
A: I will get married on June 20, 2020, graduate with a master’s in early childhood education in May 2021, get a job as a second- or third-grade teacher, have around four kids, and live my life.
Q: How will you remember your time at Ohio State? As an athlete, a student and a person?
A: I will definitely remember the many moments I’ve had with coaches, teammates and my friends. I’ll specifically remember being an integral part of the Buckeyes For Christ and growing as a Christian while finding my husband. Looking back on my time here, I imagine it will send a smile to my face and probably a few tears. I’ve enjoyed my time here, but I can’t say I’m not excited for the future.