Kate Meier, Middleton | Loyola (Ill.) recruit)

Kate Meier, Middleton | Loyola (Ill.) recruit)

A relationship a little over a year in the making during Kate Meier's recruiting process may one day prove to have done more than lead the Middleton senior to Loyola (Ill.) University and give her a place to play her college golf.

Meier recently gave her oral commitment to Ramblers coach Carly Werwie, making her the second Wisconsin golfer in the last three years to take her talents to Chicago and the first since Werwie — a former University of Wisconsin golfer from Kenosha — became the coach in July of 2018.

Wisconsin promises to be important recruiting territory for Werwie, who spent two years as a volunteer assistant coach at Carthage College after a stint on the Symetra Tour and before making Loyola her first head coaching job. She continues to play in the Wisconsin Women's State Open and was a presence earlier this month at the WIAA state tournament at University Ridge Golf Course, where she watched Meier lead the Cardinals to the Division 1 title.

"Coach and I instantly clicked as she had the qualities and personality I was looking for in a college coach," Meier wrote in an email interview. "She also was a great player in college and has a vast knowledge of the game. I look forward to having her mentor me and ... take my game to the next level."

Meier, ranked No. 4 in Wisconsin's Class of 2020 by Wisconsin.golf, is the fifth golfer in her class to orally commit to an NCAA Division I school, joining co-No. 1s Rachel Kauflin of Wauwatosa East/West (Central Michigan) and Mallory Swartz of Franklin (Bowling Green-Ohio), No. 3 Holly Murphy of Lake Geneva Badger (North Dakota State) and Madison Edgewood's Grace Welch (UW-Green Bay). No. 6 Myranda Kotlowski of Stoughton and No. 7 Meredith Boos of Waukesha Catholic Memorial are likely to join them by or after the Nov. 13 start of the upcoming early signing period for Division I and II-bound golfers.

A four-time WIAA state qualifier, Meier twice finished inside the top 10 — placing fifth as a junior and seventh as a senior. During that time, Middleton twice finished second (2016 and '18) around an eighth-place showing in 2017 before winning the program's third state championship this fall with a 651 winning score, 13 shots better than runner-up Brookfield Central.

In addition, Middleton won the Big Eight Conference championship all four years that Meier was in the lineup. She was the medalist this season.

"While at Middleton, I learned the importance of having a strong work ethic and the value of having a close team," Meier wrote. "This summer, Coach Werwie was able to witness this first-hand when our team attended the (UW) golf camp. She noticed our team's strong chemistry on and off the course, especially when we decorated our teammate's room in celebration of her birthday. The women's golf team at Loyola is very special in regards to it being more of a family rather than a team of individuals, a quality that means the world to me and shows immense strength amongst the team."

Meier, who hopes to study business and marketing in college, said she was also drawn to the location and diversity of Loyola's two distinct campuses.

"The main campus, the 'Lakeshore' campus, is directly on Lake Michigan, and only a short shuttle ride away is their 'Water Tower' campus in the heart of the city," wrote Meier, who will join a roster that includes Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels graduate Lorenza Martinez of Menomonee Falls. "What impressed me the most on my visit was how warm and outgoing all the staff, students and athletes are. There is definitely a strong, supportive and caring culture at Loyola and the golf team exemplifies those qualities loud and clear.

"When I visited campus, I was able to meet some of the players on the team, and it was evident to me that Coach was recruiting and forming a team of genuine, dedicated and talented young women; that made me even more eager to want to be a part of her team at Loyola."

The Ramblers graduate just one golfer off their eight-player roster after this season. Coming out of the fall season, however, none of the five golfers in Loyola's lineup has established themselves as a clear No. 1 with stroke averages ranging from 78.1 (Martinez) to 81.7, suggesting that there will be ample opportunity for Meier to find a home in the lineup next fall.

"I am excited to be a part of this family next year," she wrote. "And (I) look forward to contributing what I have learned my last four years of high school golf being both a teammate and a captain."

Girls Class of 2020

UPDATED July 2019 | The Wisconsin.Golf class-by-class rankings are compiled by digital editor Rob Hernandez based on an analysis of tournament results and overall impact of golfers within their class. Opinions and insight on golfers in this class are welcome and will be used for future rankings; updates on college decisions are also welcome. They can be shared via email at robhernandezdotgolf@gmail.com.  

No. First name Last name High School College Nov.
1 Rachel Kauflin Wauwatosa East/West Central Michigan 1 5 6
Mallory Swartz Franklin Bowling Green (Ohio) 2 3 7
3 Holly Murphy Lake Geneva Badger North Dakota State 2 1 4
4 Kate Meier Middleton Loyola (Ill.) 4 4 2
5 Grace Welch Madison Edgewood UW-Green Bay 5 2 1
6 Myranda Kotlowski Stoughton 12 13 NR
7 Meredith Boos Waukesha Catholic Memorial Montana 15 NR NR
8 Sami Krutz Brookfield Central 6 NR NR
9 Grace Suter Oconomowoc 7 20 NR
10 Kiernan Smith Maple Northwestern UW-Whitewater 9 NR NR
11 Sadie Kelly Pulaski 20 NR NR
12 Julia Schilling Kettle Moraine 8 8 NR
13 Carly Moon Baraboo Winona (Minn.) State 18 NR NR
14 Claudia Seeman Milton Will not play 10 6 3
15 Andrea Schleeper Verona UW-La Crosse NR
16 Rylie Severson Ashwaubenon Winona (Minn.) State 13 NR NR
17 Anaka Leske Madison Edgewood 32 18 15
18 Jessica Hagman New Richmond Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) 11 7 5
19 Hannah Harper River Falls 30 17 13
20 Abby Nickel Stevens Point 14 24 NR
21 Ellie Kaiser Hartland Arrowhead 16 NR NR
22 Ellie Schneider De Pere 17 NR NR
23 Maddie Wilke Cedarburg 26 NR NR
24 Ellie Craig Mukwonago 19 9 8
25 Ariel Heuer Fall Creek 31 NR NR
26 Haley Myers Somerset UW-Whitewater 23 11 NR
27 Anna Cesarz Milwaukee DSHA 35 21 NR
28 Isabelle Gaudion Kettle Moraine NR
29 Abby DeMoe Colfax UW-La Crosse 24 12 10
30 Sara Nerad Janesville Craig 25 22 NR
31 Cadie Ash Waupaca 28 NR NR
32 Brooke Ehle Waunakee 27 14 NR
33 Emma Onesti Green Bay Preble 29 NR NR
34 Sydney O'Hearn Sun Prairie 21 NR NR
35 Makenzie Hodson Middleton 22 19 NR
36 Rylee Haines Arcadia 33 23 9
37 Kady Cawley Kettle Moraine 34 10 NR
38 Alyssa Dreher Kewaskum/Campbellsport 36 NR NR
39 Caitlyn Ott Verona 37 15 NR
40 Amanda Ruona Hartford 38 16 NR
HM Anna Krieski Reedsburg Winona (Minn.) State NR NR NR

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