All it took was one visit, thanks to some nudging from mom, and Olivia Engel found her future.
The Lakeview senior traveled to Midland University in Fremont last November and knew something had changed. A meeting with the coaches only reassured her confidence.
May 1, Engel made it official and signed her letter of intent to continue her golf career to the next level.
"When I went on a campus visit there it was really open," she said. "Everyone was outgoing and I really liked the coach and everything there, too, because she's like my past coach. She was super nice and the atmosphere was really great."
When Engel first teed it up as a freshman at Lakeview, continuing past her time as a Viking wasn't something that seemed like a possibility, at least not initially.
"It became more of an opportunity later," she said. "My number one goal when I started golf my freshman year was to see what it was all about and everything. Once I had that experience, I made playing at state the next goal. I did that, and I think it became more clear that I wanted to play golf in college."
Engel accomplished the first of her goals when she played in the state championship this fall.
Just about six weeks later, her mother, Kim, suggested the visit to Midland. Though Olivia was ready to be done with the decision-making process of picking her next school, it was perhaps mother's intuition that stepped in at just the right time.
"I knew that I really liked the college when I visited," she said. "I was actually going to be done going on college visits way before then and then my mom said, 'You should look into Midland.' I said, 'OK, yes. I'll just do it because you want me to.'
"I think it was a couple months afterwards, but I knew that I really liked it once I met all the staff."
Engel said she was eager to sign, but mainly happy to be done with the process of finding a college.
"After I told the coach I was ready to sign, I felt a sigh of relief because I could finally say yes and get that out of the way," she said. "I was really excited even before I signed the paper because I knew that Midland was a good fit for me."
Engel is already looking forward to many areas of the collegiate golf experience including building relationships with teammates, improving her game, her score and exploring a new set of courses.
Engel plans on studying vocal music education.
She said her passion for music began at a young age and is still a big part of her life. In addition to excelling on the course, Engel has excelled on the stage as a member of the Lakeview select show choir, Viking Voices.
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com