Most athletes would never admit that one of the major changes they needed to make was change their attitude.
But, Jamie Harling, a Hillsboro graduate and recent Greenville College graduate, admits that was one of the key things needed to play, and be successful at college tennis.
"My attitude was much different as a sophomore than it was as a freshman," said Harling. "I also think my teammates constantly challenged me to get better and better."
After that it was mostly number one singles and number one doubles for the former Hillsboro tennis player. She finished her singles career with a record of 19-27. Of those wins, 13 were a number one singles. She was also a force at number one doubles. As a freshman, she teamed with Kristin Minshall to post a 14-3 mark at doubles. The pair played mostly at number three doubles, posting a 13-0 mark at number three.
It would not be the final time that she teamed with Minshall, the pair both played number one doubles as seniors, finishing with a 3-2 mark. She also teamed with Katie Mauer during her career, as well as Brittany Headrick. Overall, she finished with a 25-23 doubles mark. She won 10 matches at number one doubles.
"My sophomore year was a little rough," said Harling. "I was playing against some very experienced players. I learned so much that year and it helped me improve my game quite a bit."
The daughter of James and Connie Harling of Hillsboro earned her degree in elementary education in May. She earned a triple major at Greenville. Not only does she have a degree in elementary education, she also earned degrees in Spanish and English as a second language as well. She currently is employed by the Simple Room in Greenville.
"Playing a college sport added to my college experience," said Harling. "I will miss the atmosphere and my teammates. I learned how to be a Christian first and an athlete second."
She was named the Most Valuable Player of the GC tennis team as a sophomore and a junior.
For her work in the classroom, she received numerous awards. She finished with a grade point average of 3.95 en route to graduating magna cum laude. She made the Greenville Dean's List every semester. She was also named to Kappa Delta Pi, an Education Honor Society. She was also named to Who's Who Among College Students as well. Other academic honors included being named a NCAA Division III Scholar Athlete from her freshman through her senior season and being named to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic Team during all four years.
If you know of any athlete who has completed their college career this past year, or who will be playing in college next year, or would like to sponsor this column, please e-mail me (Dan62801@aol.com). When sending an e-mail, please put "The Journal-News" in the subject line of the e-mail.