Former track athlete turns to golf

Coming to Seton Hall to be a part of the track and field team, senior Erica Fitzpatrick has found herself on the women’s golf team.

With the cutting of both the men’s and women’s track and field programs last spring, Fitzpatrick faced the decision to either stay at the Hall and graduate or transfer to another track and field program.

“When they announced that the track programs were going to be cut I was very angry,” Fitzpatrick said. “My mom had me look on the bright side but I was mostly upset with the lack of info.”

Fitzpatrick decided to stay at the Hall instead of transferring to another school, mostly because she was one year away from getting her degree.

“I originally thought of transferring but decided against it because Seton Hall credits don’t transfer very well,” Fitzpatrick said. “Also, I didn’t want to move because I was familiar with Seton Hall and had so many friends here.”

Not only was she able to stay at the Hall as a student, Fitzpatrick was able to stay an athlete on the newly created women’s golf program.

She learned the game by taking lessons with her brother throughout middle school.

“My dad asked me to try out for the team and I just laughed at him,” Fitzpatrick said. “But later in the semester I just couldn’t give up athletics and gave it a try.”

She had originally given up golf after having taken lessons because the sport was getting boring and she was sick of always playing rounds with her brother.

However, with women’s golf newly formed, it was the easiest way to stay in athletics at Seton Hall and she asked if she was able to try out for the team.

“I didn’t know what to expect from her when I first heard about her,” head coach Sara Doell said. “I was excited to put her on the roster because everyone in the athletic department had positive things to say about her.”

Fitzpatrick is currently one of two non-freshmen on the team, along with junior Nicole Longobardo, and she is the person who has been around the Hall’s athletic program the longest including the coaching staff. The rest of the team is made up of true freshmen.

“At the first meeting [Fitzpatrick] told the freshmen to ask her about anything that they needed,” Doell said. “She even helped me over the summer whenever I had a question about the athletic department or training room.”

Despite not yet making the roster for any of the team’s three tournaments so far, where only five members compete for the Pirates per match, her presence is still felt around the team.

“Erica is a wonderful person and great to have around,” Doell said. “She serves as a senior leader and is good for everything around.”

With the women’s golf program competing in only two more tournaments this season, Fitzpatrick’s athletic career at Seton Hall is coming to an end.

“I don’t regret my decision at all,” Fitzpatrick said. “Everyone has been supportive including my track teammates and everyone is glad I stuck with the program.”

Stephen Valenti can be reached at stephen.valenti@student.shu.edu

Author: Staff Writer

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