IOWA CITY, Iowa — Five University of Iowa women’s golfers — freshmen Lilly Gentzkow, Jacquelyn Galloway and Lea Zeitler, sophomore Dana Lerner and senior Sarah Overton — received honors following the abrupt end of the team’s season.
Gentzkow received the Most Improved Award and the Iron Hawk Award. The Iron Hawk Award is presented by strength and conditioning coach Bill Maxwell to the golfer who trains the hardest in the weight room.
The Wilmette, Illinois, native played in her first collegiate golf tournament at the Northern Iowa Dual in the fall of 2019. Gentzkow won her matchup, 6-5.
“Lilly always challenged herself to be stronger,” Maxwell said. “She consistently put more weight on the bar, came in for additional workouts, and asked for feedback during the pandemic. Lilly demonstrated consistent pursuit to improve her physical development.”
The Positive Leadership Award was presented to Overton and Lerner. This award is given to Hawkeyes that embody an uplifting attitude and holds their teammates to the same standard.
Overton competed in five tournaments for the Hawkeyes her senior season. She tied her career-best 54-hole score (236) at the Allstate Sugar Bowl this spring.
“Sarah plays a major leadership role on our team,” Lerner said. “Any question we have, Sarah is always the one with the answers. She is very organized and always knows what is happening. She makes everyone around her work hard and encourages them to be better.”
Lerner also competed in five tournaments for the Hawkeyes. She posted a season-best 18-hole score (76) and season-best 54-hole score (236) at the Magnolia Invitational in the fall of 2019.
“Dana has all the intangible characteristics of what makes a great leader,” Overton said. “She’s a great listener, is always encouraging of everyone around her, rational, and so much more. She always has a positive attitude that radiates to the rest of the team which is a critical component of any team sport. We balance each other out so well, that when I’m having a less than stellar day and am not feeling like myself, she’s always there to get me back up to that level of leader that I need to be and vice versa. The humility she possesses is inspiring and she is very deserving of this award.”
Galloway was honored with the Team Player Award. Galloway was a solid component in the Hawkeye lineup this year, competing in eight competitions. Her season was highlighted with two career-best scores at the Magnolia Invitational in the fall of 2019. She shot a two-under par 18-hole best (68), landing her a place in the record book, and a 54-hole low (217). Galloway’s best season finish was at the Entrada Classic this spring tied for fifth place.
“Jacque is a tough competitor and always brought her best effort for her team,” Iowa head coach Megan Menzel said. “She has grown a lot as a player and has worked hard to improve her outlook on the course. She has gotten tougher between the ears and has been a great role model in for her teammates on and off the course.”
Zeitler was awarded Most Valuable Player. Zeitler competed in six tournaments for the Hawkeyes. Her best season finish was fifth at the East West Match Play Challenge, where she also scored her collegiate-best 36-hole score (142), shooting two-under par.
The Austria native earned two Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors. She claimed the first honor after her performance at the Battle of the Beach (Nov. 1-3). Zeitler scored her season-best 18-holes (68) which secured her a place in the record book. She tied for 16th and recorded a three-round total of 218 (+2).
Zeitler earned her second honor after the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Feb. 16-17). She carded a career-best four-under-par (215). She started the tournament with back-to-back 72s (-1), and finished with a 71 (-2) in the final round to secure her first career top-10 finish.
“Lea came in ready to play last fall and she is hungry to be the best player in college golf,” coach Menzel said. “We only got a glimpse of how good she can be this season and she is committed to working on her weaknesses. It is not a surprise that she is our MVP, she has one of the strongest work ethics I have seen during my coaching career. She pushes our whole team to be the best and her standards will propel this team to the next level.”
The Hawkeyes will graduate Overton, and return nine golfers. The team looks forward to getting back into the swing of things and preparing for the fall season.