ANDERSON — In high school sports today, competition is often so severe that some really good athletes don’t make varsity until their sophomore years.
That wasn’t a problem for Anderson senior golfer Morgan Nadaline. She not only played varsity all four years, but has been named The Herald Bulletin’s Athlete of the Year in golf for four straight years.
Her accomplishments on the links in high school are impressive enough. She made it to the state tournament three years and finished fourth overall as a senior, just three strokes off the winner’s pace.
“I am really disappointed at how I did in the state my senior year,” said Nadaline. “On the way home from that I was thinking about every shot I hit and how just a few of them could have enabled me to win the state.”
Her individual accomplishments were all she can look back fondly and recall. The Indians team never went to state in her four years.
“That was hard,” said Nadaline. “It is what everyone dreams of — playing with a chance to be on a state championship team. I could have done that if things hadn’t gone the way they did. A lot of my friends played on teams that were really good and competed for the state.”
Her stroke average fell each season from a 79.3 as a freshman to a 72.3 as a senior. She was medalist four times in the Madison County High School Golf Meet, three times All-State and four times All-North Central Conference.
Her accomplishments go well beyond high school.
Nadaline was Indiana Golf Association Junior Player of the Year three times. She finished fifth in the Indiana Women’s Amateur Tournament this year. She has won 21 Indiana Golf Association titles since 2008.
“I have played so much and in so many tournaments,” said Nadaline. “It seems I was never home. I’ve probably been in 50 or 60 events since I was about 10. It has all paid off. I spent a lot of time out on the golf course with my dad. It is exciting to see it all come together.”
One of the big rewards is a college scholarship, which she accepted to attend Ball State.
“It was probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” said Nadaline. “I drove myself crazy. It came down to Arkansas-Little Rock or Ball State. It came down to whether I wanted to be 10 hours drive away. But when I went to Ball State, I felt so welcomed. I think Ball State will have a really, really good team. They will lose three seniors but there are three of us coming in.”
Joining her will be Hamilton Southeastern’s Mary Ellen Romero and Marion’s Kayla Adamson.
“Morgan experienced a great deal of success in her junior golf career,” said Ball State golf coach Katherine Mowat. “From being runnerup in the Women’s Western Junior to winning the state tournament, to qualifying twice for the Junior PGA, she has proven she can compete against the best golfers in the country.”
“I want to hit the ball farther,” said Nadaline about what she wanted to do before next year. “I want to improve my short game. I just want to keep working on everything.”
Anderson High School senior Morgan Nadaline is the sixth of nine fall athletes who will be honored by The Herald Bulletin as the best in their sport for this area. The next athlete will be announced in Tuesday's edition. Honor Roll Emily Tilton, Pendleton Hts.; Delaney Harvey, Pendleton Hts.; Jordan Dean, Pendleton Hts.; Natalia Campbell, Lapel