Sydney Colwill & Vanessa Leiterman move to the top in three short yearsby Andy Morales on Sep. 24, 2013, under Sports
Sydney Colwill was a speedy slapper that caused havoc for defenses on the softball diamond but that all changed while playing golf with her father on Father’s Day the summer before her freshman year at Ironwood Ridge.
“I was playing golf with my dad and I enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s something (switching to golf) that we decided together.”
Colwill went from number 5/6 as a freshman to 3/4 as a sophomore to number 1 this, her junior year with the Nighthawks. A quick lefty with a bat in her hands to a determined righty with her clubs, Colwill has been totally transformed to one of Southern Arizona’s best.
Likewise, Marana’s Vanessa Leiterman’s story is also one of quick growth from practically nothing to a playoff spot in three short years in one of the most frustrating sports ever invented.
Leiterman started golfing the summer before her freshman year at Marana but found out just how frustrating the sport could be after she missed the state playoffs last year by one stroke. From nothing to one stroke away in just two years has finally given way to a guaranteed state playoff spot this year.
Leiterman has already put up six qualifying scores when the AIA only requires five and she sees no reason to stop now. “I can go out and just play,” explained Leiterman.
“I don’t have to worry about getting a certain score or worry about mechanics. Just do it,” she added.
Leiterman got good quickly thanks in part to several summer youth programs but her even and calm demeanor, along with natural talent, had a lot to do with it.
Ironwood Ridge has qualified for the state playoffs as a team so head coach Robert Springs can choose any of his top talent to represent the school. As of Tuesday, Leiterman is the only golfer to qualify at Marana.
The two teams met up at the Omni Tucson National on Tuesday with the Nighthawks pulling ahead 167 to 188.
Colwill earned the top spot with a 36, her standout teammate Abby Miller shot a 42 and Leiterman a 43.
Also scoring for Ironwood Ridge were Torrey Browning (44), Madison Manzo (45) and Lily Nielsen (52). Carley Nelson shot a 46 for Marana, Marisol Benavidez a 47, Alexis Pico a 52 and Natasha McMillin a 58.
Other golfers from The Ridge included Nikie Gonzalez (59), Annamarie Gansheimer (65), Sydney Thomas (66) and Kelly Koppy (71).