Sarah Balding (’22) named Greater Metro Conference Player of Year


Lynn Krutz

Balding follows through on her swing at an invitational meet held at Brown Deer Golf course. “[Golf] first started out as something that my family wanted me to do, but over time I enjoyed it, and it was something I wanted to do and get better at. Now it’s just something I enjoy doing and it’s fun,” said Balding.

Stephanie Chen, Head Editor-in-Chief

When she was nine years old, Sarah Balding (‘22) held a club in her hand for the first time. Now, approximately six years later, she has received the title of 2019 Greater Metro Conference (GMC) Player of the Year. The Lancers Girls Golf team, comprised of Sami Krutz (‘20), CJ Romero (‘21), Kyley Whipper (‘21), Erin Rosencrantz (‘21), Amanda Meyer (‘20), and Balding, competed at the GMC Championship September 25, emerging as champions for the eighth year in a row.

Prior to the championship, the seven GMC teams—Brookfield Central, Brookfield East, Divine Savior Holy Angels, Germantown, Hamilton-Sussex, Menomonee Falls, and Tosa East/West— competed at five different nine-hole tournaments. According to Balding, each player’s best four scores from the five are added to their score at the final eighteen-hole championship, and the resulting total is used to determine the Conference Player of the Year. “Everyone keeps track of how many strokes they have, so everyone kind of knows [where they stand] going into it,” she explained. Balding herself had been a stroke behind Krutz prior to the championship. Krutz ended up placing third in the conference, landing herself a position on First Team All Conference alongside Romero and Wipper; Rosencrantz and Meyer both made Second Team All Conference. “I’m proud of them,” Balding said in regards to her teammates, “because we always just do our best, and we’re all really close.”

You just have to keep moving forward when you miss a stroke because you can’t expect to be perfect each time

— Sarah Balding ('22)

For Balding, it was “an honor” to be named Conference Player of the Year. “Obviously, you have to put a lot of work into that, and there’s a lot of other really good players, so just to be the one who came out and won it, that was really exciting,” she said. What made this milestone particularly significant was her performance that day: “I was excited because I had played my best round ever. I hadn’t shot in the 60s before that.” Balding completed the course in 68 strokes, three strokes under par, and with seven birdies (one stroke under par for the hole).

Balding first got into golf due to the influence of her parents and sister, Emily Balding. After a few years, she began to practice on her own. “Now it’s just something I enjoy doing and it’s fun,” she said. Of her six years in golf, being a part of the BCHS Varsity Girls Golf team has brought Balding the most success, from competing at state last year to the GMC championship and state this year, where the Lancers emerged as the WIAA State Runner-Up.

If golf has taught her anything, it is that “You can’t expect perfection from yourself in anything.” Balding went on to say, “You’re going to go out every day, and you’re either going to play good or you’re not going to play good, and you just have to keep moving forward when you miss a stroke because you can’t expect to be perfect each time.”

Balding encourages newer golf players to persevere: “Keep playing and keep having fun with it. Like any sport, it can be frustrating if you’re not really good right away. You just have to keep practicing and [continue] having fun with it.”