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Mid-Prairie graduate Allyson Wertz put the finishing touches on her outstanding high school golf career this past May. The four-time first team All-Conference selection set new Golden Hawk records for nine holes (34) and eighteen holes (76), and ran away with medalist honors by 12 strokes in a 3A Regional at the Kalona Golf Club.
Wertz, who placed 24th at the state meet in 2014 and earned First Team All-District and Second Team All-State honors in 2015, firmly established herself as one of the top golfers in the state during a ten-day stretch back in April.
On April 12, Wertz birdied the final hole of play to take the medalist title from 2015 and ‘16 4A individual State Champion Sara Nacos of Washington by one stroke with a 39. Nine days later at the Hawk Invite, Wertz shot a then career-low 38 to finish runner up to the 2015 and ’16 4A individual State runner-up Lindsay Repp of Fairfield.
“I was playing some of my best golf at that time of the year,” explained Wertz. “The key during that time was to just stay calm and have confidence in every swing I took. Those two rounds gave me the confidence I needed the rest of the season.”
With an incredible season, Wertz earned recognition on the Iowa Golf Coaches Association All-State First Team, and was included in the Des Moines Register’s inaugural All-Iowa Golf Team for Class 3A.
Mid-Prairie also enjoyed team success during Wertz’s career, winning a conference championship in 2013 and placing sixth at the State Meet in 2014.
“I had a good relationship with my teammates, we were always laughing and having a good time at practice and on the van rides, but when it was time to get down to business, we knew what we needed to do,” Wertz said.
“From the beginning of my freshman year I had a good relationship with (Coach) Tracy (McArtor), he always had confidence in me even when I didn’t and he always knew what to say to me during a round to help me finish strong. The program is definitely heading in the right direction, the underclassman worked really hard this past season and I see them having a great golf career at Mid-Prairie.”
Wertz has been playing golf for as long as she can remember, and plays or practices six days a week until the snow falls.
“I’ve dedicated so much time to this sport because it is something I will be able to play for years after college,” she said. “It has always had a special place in my heart and always will.”
She joins the golf team at Mt. Mercy in the fall and plans to study nursing.
“I have heard nothing but good things about both programs,” Wertz said. “The golf program has just hired the first ever full-time coach for both the men’s and women’s golf programs so I am looking forward to being a part of this.”
“The nursing program is such a well known program. I am grateful I get the chance to be a part of both programs and I am looking forward to the next four years of pursuing my dreams.”
Wertz carries motivation from the final round of her high school career. She had an off-day at the Golden Hawks’ second round Regional, shooting a 50 over the first nine holes and finishing one stroke away from State qualification with a 93.
“It was really tough knowing that I was one stroke away from making it to state, but I knew it happened for a reason,” Wertz said. “It has driven me to get better for my college career.”
On the basketball court, Wertz wrapped up her high school career with a trip to the state tournament in Des Moines.
The Golden Hawks finished the regular season with a record of 13-8, but with a record of 1-8 against teams that appeared in the last two IGHSAU rankings.
Mid-Prairie won a first round Regional over 9-11 Albia by 46 points and blew out 18-4 Central Lee by a score of 84-52. In the Regional final, the Golden Hawks faced a 12-11 South Tama team that knocked off #12 West Marshall in a first round game. Mid-Prairie won 50-45, setting up a state quarterfinal game with #2 Center Point-Urbana. The Golden Hawks held a 24-17 lead at one point, before falling 48-43. Wertz had at least one three-point field goal in each of Mid-Prairie’s playoff games.
“We never thought about the rankings when we were preparing for a team,” Wertz recalled. “We practiced and played the same way for every team. Our team had really great team chemistry and that helped have the success we did.”
“We knew going into the first round game against CPU that the pressure wasn’t on us. We weren’t expected to win, but we knew we had a chance to. We just played our game and it was a lot of fun to play such a great team so close the whole game.”
Wertz, who finished the year with 17 three-pointers, had been playing with fellow seniors Emily Cayton and Alex Rath for nine years.
“We knew how each other played the game,” Wertz said. “When we were younger, I was always one of the shortest on the team so I was never inside, I was always outside on the wing and that’s where I was able to grow as a player and I knew that was where I could help the team.”
Wertz also had 27 steals and 20 assists for Mid-Prairie during the 2015-16 season.
Wertz credits her parents and coaches for her success on and off the course.
“I would like to thank my parents for all the support they have given me over the years and for following me around all my meets and summer tournaments,” she said.
“I would not be who I am today without them. I would also like to thank my high school golf coach, Tracy McArtor, he has been an incredible coach and given me endless advice. I would also like to thank my family, friends, swing coaches, and teachers I have had over the years.”