Katelyn Strudthoff likes the quiet solitude of golf.
“You don't have a bunch of people screaming at each other,” she said. “It's a very individual sport. If you don't do well, it's only because you didn't do well. It's not because other people didn't do well.”
There was plenty of screaming last week, though, when the Millard West senior sank a double eagle during the Titan Invitational at Eagle Hills Golf Course.
Strudthoff said she even joined in after using her driver and then an 8-iron to go the 366 yards on the par-5 seventh hole. She estimated her second shot was from 120 yards.
“I was really happy,” she said. “I kind of jumped up and down.”
Millard West coach Kent Speer said it's the first double eagle he's heard of at the high school level in his eight years of coaching. Bud Dahlstrom, the assistant director in charge of golf for the Nebraska School Activities Association since 2005, hasn't heard of any either.
Speer captured the whole thing on his iPad.
“I usually do not film from that distance because I cannot really see her swing, but I knew she was pretty good from that distance, so I thought maybe she would hit it close,” Speer said. “Most of the girls that day had been hitting it on the green, and I knew she was playing well, so maybe I could catch something good. Never thought I would get that.”
The rare albatross isn't too bad for someone who picked up the game as a freshman. A 4.0 student who hopes to study engineering in college, she's also on the diving team and plans to run track and field in the spring instead of playing soccer.
She's aiming for an Iron Cat award, which is presented to senior athletes at Millard West who have participated in at least 11 of the 12 sports seasons during their career.
“I like playing sports and just kind of being active,” she said.
Strudthoff likes golf best and has done well at the sport. She takes lessons from Tom Sieckmann at Omaha Country Club.
Speer said she's very persistent and has improved every season.
“She wants to be the best girls golfer ever at Millard West,” he said. “She is one of our captains and does a great job helping the other girls get better as well.”
Strudthoff finished 22nd at state last year and this fall is aiming much higher for herself and her team, which hasn't made it to state while she's been at Millard West.
“I want to try to make it into the top 10 at state, if not win state,” she said. “I also want to get my team to go with me as well.”