Montpelier senior Sarah Higbie recently committed to continue her golf career at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Pictured front row, from left, are mother Chris Higbie, Sarah and father Darrell Higbie; (back) Montpelier girls golf coach Matt Dye. Photo courtesy of Montpelier Athletics

MONTPELIER — She’s only been golfing two years, but in that short time, Montpelier senior Sarah Higbie improved enough to play at the next level after officially committing to continue her career at the University of Mary Washington, an NCAA Division III school in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Higbie said she has family in Virginia, in addition to an aunt who works at the university. And when she went on a visit to the school shortly after the coaches reached out to her, it immediately felt like the right fit, she said.

“I just fell in love with the campus and knew that it was for me,” Higbie said. “The people were super nice, and they just invited me in right away.”

Higbie originally went out for the sport as a junior in the fall of 2018 at the urging of Montpelier girls golf coach Matt Dye — a family friend who had coached Higbie in softball since she was young.

During her first year on the team, Higbie grew into one of Montpelier’s top golfers and was a part of the first ever Montpelier girls team to advance to the district level.

She continued to improve during her senior year, and with her commitment to Mary Washington last week, she’ll join 2019 Montpelier graduates Brookelyn Dye (Bethel College) and Elizabeth Fritsch (Mount Union) as the third Locomotive in the last two years to golf in college.

“It’s been amazing just knowing some of my friends have been able to go and do the same thing,” Higbie said of the Montpelier program’s success of sending golfers to the next level. “They’ve been telling me about their experiences, and it’s just made me even more excited to go.

“We all go out and practice together and challenge each other and we all still talk. It’s just a great environment to learn how to play golf in. We’re all so supportive of each other.”

Higbie said she initially plans on studying biology, with the goal of moving on to medical school after that.

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