Swift recruiting process leads Hilsmeyer to IUPUI

Herald Sports Writer

JASPER — Weeks passed in June, and despite a productive three seasons on the Jasper girls golf team and further exposure on summer tours throughout Indiana and neighboring states, MeKenzie Hilsmeyer still had not received that oh-so-coveted offer to play collegiate golf.


Yet as quickly as a well-hit recovery shot can rescue a golfer from envisioning bogeys to lavishing in birdie putts, things materialized for Hilsmeyer.

Fast-forward five months and there sat Hilsmeyer in front of a few dozen people in the Jasper High School Community Room late Wednesday morning, signing her letter of intent to swing clubs for Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis next fall.

With her father, Tom, to her right, the Jasper senior inked her signature on the official committal form, and completed the process with a hug from her mother, Carolyn.

Hilsmeyer marvels at how fast everything happened. A day after Hilsmeyer returned from the Indiana Girls’ State Junior Championship tournament in Franklin the second-to-last weekend in June, former Jasper teammate and current Jaguar redshirt freshman Maria Krempp spilled to her that IUPUI coach John Andrews had been in attendance at the weekend competition, liked what he’d seen from Hilsmeyer and showed interest in having her join the team in the Circle City.

At the conclusion of an official visit Fourth of July weekend, Andrews offered Hilsmeyer a spot on the team. She tussled with the idea for the better part of her senior season at Jasper — during which she helped the Wildcats to a 10th-place finish at the state finals — and finally contacted the coach in October informing him that she intended to become a Jaguar.

Hilsmeyer also had been in contact with Bellarmine and Indiana — though the Hoosiers didn’t make a formal offer. Indiana State and IPFW also expressed interest, she said. With all facets considered, the stuffed combination of suitable competition, a likable coach, reuniting with a former teammate and living within 15 minutes of her sister, Brooke, made IUPUI a facile choice.

“Nothing felt as good as it did going with IUPUI,” Hilsmeyer said.

Hilsmeyer plans to major in biology and eventually go into neuroscience research. It’s good timing, as IUPUI opened its new $100 million IU Neuroscience Center at Goodman Hall in August.

“I know what I want to do careerwise, which is the most important thing,” she said. “Golf is just going to be more of a hobby for me.”

Contact Joe Jasinski at jjasinski@dcherald.com.

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