Blue Jays to UJ: Hibl, Vogel sign with Jimmie golf team

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Jamestown High School senior Lauryn Hibl, center, is photographed with JHS girls golf coach Tracy Gustafson, left, and University of Jamestown golf coach Zach Hale, right, while recently signing a letter of intent to play golf for the Jimmies. Submitted photo

Signing on the dotted line made dreams a reality for Kyra Vogel and Lauryn Hibl.

Vogel, a senior at Jamestown High School, signed her National Letter of Intent to further her education and golf career at the University of Jamestown on Nov. 5. Vogel has competed on the JHS girls golf team since her early middle school years.

"Playing golf in college has been a goal of mine since seventh grade, so for it to actually be happening is crazy," Vogel said. "(UJ) coach (Zach) Hale is also super nice and the team seems very welcoming."

Vogel ended her final golf season with the Blue Jays at the 2020 girls state golf tournament held in Minot on Oct. 5-6. Vogel carded a two-round total of 175, good enough for 24th place.

"Kyra is super committed to learning more about the golf swing and development of the game," JHS head girls golf coach and UJ alum Tracy Gustafson said. "She's taken various lessons from golf professionals and she's put in a lot of time just to make herself better. She has become very aware of her game and her strengths and weaknesses.


"She's definitely driven to succeed and improve. I've seen that throughout the years."

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Jamestown High School senior Kyra Vogel signs a letter of intent to compete with Jimmie women's golf. Submitted photo

Gustafson's first year of coaching the Blue Jays was Vogel's first year on the greens. Gustafson said she has enjoyed watching Vogel's mental and physical game develop and improve. Hale said one of the reasons he worked to recruit Vogel, and Blue Jay teammate Hibl, to the team was because of a strong mental focus.

"Based on the conversations I have had with coach Tracy, their short games are pretty strong and they don't get too rattled mentally, which is a big thing in golf," Hale said of the new recruits. "I am just going to continue developing them and fine-tune their game. I think they'll be just fine."

Hibl officially committed to UJ on Nov. 21.

"I chose UJ mainly for the great education, but also to get a chance to keep playing a sport I love," Hibl said. "I’m excited to get the opportunity to be able to play new challenging courses and meet people from other universities."

Hibl transferred to Jamestown High School three years ago from Wahpeton and quickly developed a strong relationship with the other Blue Jays on the team. Hibl was out much of her junior year due to a wrist injury but rebounded in her final season. Hibl was among the top five Blue Jay golfers throughout her senior season. Hibl shot her way to a 184 at the 2020 state tournament.


"Lauryn just has a very positive aura about her," Gustafson said. "Her overall attitude and demeanor are very lighthearted, she's there to help the others and be a part of the team. It's been cool to see (Hibl and Vogel) progress over the years. It makes me proud to see them share the love of the game."

Hibl originally decided to attend UJ based on the reputable education provided to students but then decided to pursue the opportunity to take her chances and play golf at the collegiate level.

"Honestly, I’m not quite sure what to expect? But I do know I’ll be putting in a lot of work on and off the course and that it’ll be fun," Hibl said. "I don’t know the team yet, but I think I’ll bring a positive attitude and a strong work ethic to the team."

Vogel said she was also unsure of what to expect signing with a collegiate program, but said she is eager to get stronger physically and mentally under Hale's direction and UJ's nine returners.

"My expectations coming in are to just get better," Vogel said. "There are a lot of good golfers on the team that I can’t wait to learn from. I am super excited to be able to compete at the next level. I am also excited to get better and grow as a golfer. When it comes to golf I don’t take any easy ways out."

Hale said Vogel and Hibl's passion for the game could serve them well when it comes to the team's competition. Hale said the new recruits will quickly gain more experience with the college season running in both the fall and spring.

"Golf is unique where anybody could step in at any point," Hale said. "There will definitely be opportunities for them to try and compete for the top five spots. It's just a matter of continuing their good work ethic and working on their games to be ready to go starting out next fall."

The Jimmies finished second out of 12 teams competing at the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Fall Championships on Oct. 6. UJ regularly finished toward the top of the field of competition the first part of the season.


"I feel that my golf game will only improve, especially with being able to practice all year," Hibl said. "I’m excited to be a part of the team and have the chance to be coached by coach Hale."

Hale said he is still working at recruiting other team members for his second-year at the helm of the Jimmies' program, but said he is very excited to welcome the two Blue Jays to the UJ family.

"It will be an exciting time for them and I know they are excited to get here," Hale said.

Gustafson added: "They'll have so much fun. I am excited for them to kind of move on."

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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