Everything came together for Erin Ingram.
Her final trip to the state finals for golf was the best. Ingram was efficient and effective as she put together back-to-back precise performances of what she called, “the best two rounds I can say I’ve played in my life.”
Those scores — 74 and 71, respectively — allowed the Richmond High School standout to medal at the Legends of Indiana course in Franklin. Ingram posted a two-day total of 145 as she tied for sixth, eight strokes away from winning an individual state title.
“Erin’s two rounds are probably as consistent golf as you could possibly have,” said Richmond athletic director Chad Bolser. “It was just a methodical approach and execution, all the things you want out of a golf match, and that rarely happen at the high school level.”
Ingram earned all-state honors in golf and was all-North Central Conference in swimming. She is the second finalist for the Palladium-Item’s 2013 Myyon A. Barnes Athlete of the Year award.
Ingram saved her best for last at the state meet.
“Not many people can say this. Her best approach was the 36th hole,” Bolser said. “It was fantastic. It was a great shot.
“It was one of the most impressive 36 holes I’ve seen. … She literally played 36 holes about as smooth as you can do it.”
Golf is a family thing for the Ingrams.
Erin Ingram started around age 2 or 3, learning from her father, Kyle, himself an avid golfer.
The potential was there at an early age.
“I told my wife, ‘I think Erin has the potential to be a decent little golfer,'” Kyle Ingram said. “She would migrate toward the game. That only enhanced the father-daughter relationship, which is the thing I’m most proud of.”
Ingram worked with a swing instructor, and her talent was evident when she reached the Red Devils’ varsity team as a freshman.
Ingram was part of the RHS regional championship team in 2009, and helped the Devils finish seventh at that year’s state meet.
As a sophomore, she was tied for the sectional lead after 18 holes with teammate Trisha Witherby — an individual state champion — before losing in a playoff for medalist honors at Highland Lake.
Richmond repeated as team champion at the regional, and went on to finish fifth at state.
Ingram reversed sectional fortunes as a junior, earning medalist honors at Highland’s 2011 sectional tournament.
“Freshman and sophomore year were amazing,” Erin Ingram said. “The teammates were fun and energetic, and of course making it to state both those years, and winning sectional and NCC and regional and going to state. Those were all really great memories I won’t forget.
“All the friendships I made through golf, the life lessons I learned from them — I couldn’t be more thankful for what the game of golf has taught me, and how I’m going to continue to learn from it in my life.”
Ingram will continue her golf career as a member of the IUPUI women’s team. She is the third from Richmond’s girls golf program to advance to the NCAA Division I level in the past three years, joining Witherby and Ingram’s cousin, Ashtyn Brown.
“I can’t explain how excited I am to be on a team again and continue with the sport I love to play, with other people who love to play as much as I do,” Ingram said. “I’m excited to compete. I’m definitely not ready to quit playing golf yet.”
Ingram started swimming at a young age, too, taking up that sport at age 8.
She helped the Red Devils consistently compete at their Tiano Pool — and beyond. Richmond won this year’s NCC girls swimming championship in Indianapolis for coach Jennifer Ahaus in her final season, and Ingram was on the winning 200 free relay team.
“Swimming has always been a huge part of my life,” Ingram said. “I had a wonderful coach throughout the years, including club and high school who taught me many lessons on how to be a great swimmer and how to succeed in the classroom.”
Ingram said swimming was more physically challenging, but that both sports taught her different things.
“Golf is more patient and emotional. Swimming you have to be strong and you have to have endurance,” she said. “You have to have competitiveness.
“They are two totally different sports and different mindsets. They balance each other out perfectly.”
Ingram aims to find the same sort of balance at IUPUI between golf and schoolwork.
She plans to major in exercise science/pre-physical therapy, with a goal of obtaining a doctorate in exercise science.
“Erin is an ideal high school student-athlete, someone who takes care of business from not only the athletic part … she does take care of business academically,” Bolser said. “She’s an outstanding student and a great representative of Richmond High School.”
Ingram was thankful for the support she received during her high school career, as well as the opportunity to add to the rich golf tradition of the city.
Richmond also houses one of her all-time favorite courses, Forest Hills Country Club.
“It’s a great city to grow up in,” Ingram said. “Richmond High School has done a phenomenal job with my education.
“There is so much history in golf here in Richmond. It’s a sport the city really gets involved in. I couldn’t be more appreciative of that.”