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‘Jank’ having a solid year on the golf course

Courtesy photo Warren senior Hannah Jankauskas started golfing in the eighth grade and has since become one of the Warriors’ top golfers.

Hannah Jankauskas

Warren

Year: senior

Age: 17

GPA: 3.0

Favorite subject: science

Sport: golf, soccer (freshman year)

College: Otterbein University

Major: allied health

Family: Joe and Cathy Jankauskas (father and mother); Lauren Hilverding (older sister), Josh Jankauskas (older brother)

Question: Do you have a nickname?

Answer: (laughs) Some of my teachers at Warren call me “Jank.”

Q: When did you first begin golfing?

A: In the eighth grade. Before then, I was a competitive swimmer from the kindergarten to the sixth grade. I swam at both the Marietta and Parkersburg Y.

But then in the eighth grade, I was watching my brother (Josh) golf, and I thought that looked like fun, so I decided I wanted to play. I actually went to Columbus, and took lessons up there.

At Warren, they didn’t have a girls’ golf team in my freshman and sophomore years, so the girls played on the boys’ team. It wasn’t until last year that Warren had a girls’ varsity golf team. This year, we have 14 girls on the team, and I’m one of four seniors.

Q: Have you played any other sport at Warren?

A: In my freshman year, I both golfed and played soccer in the same season — and that was really hard. So, I made a choice to play just golf in my sophomore year.

(Pauses)

This year, I’m also planning on cheerleading.

Q: Golf for you has been pretty much a year-round sport, right?

A: It has. It takes a lot of hard work. In the winter, we practice and even hit inside.

Q: I understand you have recorded the best score for girls at the school?

A: Yes, I set the record this year with an 83 for 18 holes. I’ve done it twice, once at Mingo Bottom in Elizabeth (W.Va.) and also at Pumpkin Vine in Lancaster (Ohio).

(Pauses)

At Mingo Bottom, started out with a 46 on the front 9, but came back and got a 37 on the back 9.

Q: Sounds like you’re having a pretty good senior season?

A: For 9 holes, I’m averaging 43-44. For 18, I’m not sure. But I’ve also shot an 86 and 89 — and had one bad round in the 90s.

Q: What’s been your greatest golf thrill so far?

A: Last year, at the sectional, I advanced to district. That was pretty exciting. That would be my biggest thrill.

Q: Of course, after district, there’s state at Ohio State in Columbus. How’d you do?

A: I tied for fourth place, and only the top one moves on.

When my brother played at Warren, I got a chance to watch him at state. He’s now playing at Otterbein. He transferred there from Davis & Elkins.

Q: Of course, one of your goals this season is to get to state?

A: That would be so awesome.

Q: Are you thinking about golfing at the collegiate level?

A: Right now, I’m planning on playing at Otterbein, where my brother is. The Otterbein golf coach has been in touch with me, and came and watched me at a match.

Q: Who has inspired you or impacted your golf career?

A: My brother Josh. He’s been so helpful.

Q: What do you do off the golf course? Do you have any hobbies?

A: I go to Porterfield Baptist Church and participate in their youth groups. I also run…mostly on the treadmill. But I’ve also gone out running with my mom on occasion.

Q: Being a senior, anything you’d like to shout out?

A: I want to thank my family, Coach B (Biddinger), Coach Evans, my swing Coach Alecia Larsen), my teammates, and all my friends for everything.

Q: One last question. Have you ever had a hole-in-one?

A: (laughs) No. but I almost have. During a practice round at Lakeside, I was about 3 inches from the cup. It was inside. And, then, at Mingo Bottom, I was about a foot away on one hole, and ended up with a birdie on a par 3.

(pauses)

Josh also hasn’t gotten a hole-in-one, either, and he tells me not to get one before him. (laughs)

Warren girls’ golf coach Andy Biddinger on Hannah:

Hannah is a special athlete and young woman. She has made the decision to commit to her game and worked extremely hard to become as good as possible. It is a pleasure watching and working with her as she has progressed from a junior high player shooting in the 60s for nine holes to being in the 30s and setting almost every record for a girls player at Warren. She has listened to Coach (Nathan) Evans, her swing Coach Alecia (Larsen), and me with a great desire to learn the game. Hannah has become a steadying influence on the younger players on the team and provides tremendous leadership.

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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