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Pultorak is Dixon’s first female in 26 years

Swinging like a girl

Caption
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Dixon freshman Olivia Pultorak will play golf with the boys this fall. She is Dixon's first female golfer since 1987 and is following in her brother Dan's footsteps. He graduated last spring after spending four seasons playing for the Dukes.

Olivia Pultorak is doing something that no Dixon High School girl has done in 26 years.

According to longtime head coach Pat Lessner, she’s the first female golfer at Dixon since 1987. The 14-year-old freshman is the lone girl on the 12-player boys team.

“I was so nervous to go to the first practice, being the only girl,” Pultorak said. “I didn’t know what to do. It was so weird.

“But, it’s better. I can happily go to practice not dreading it.”

Pultorak is following in her brother Dan’s footsteps. Dan, who graduated in the spring, played 4 years at Dixon.

“He gives me pointers,” Pultorak said of her brother. “And, a lot of the guys know me because of him, so that helps.”

Pultorak did not want to be the only girl on the team. She invited friends to join her.

“I had one friend [Kora Heitzler] that had the courage to come with me for a day to summer practice,” Pultorak said. “She didn’t really like it, though.”

Pultorak has been taken under the wing of senior Ryan Dixon, a good friend of her brother.

“That was nice to have someone I knew on the team,” said Pultorak, who is also a basketball player and tumbler. “He helps me every day. It has really made me progess. He’s a senior. He knows what he’s talking about.”

Pultorak is taken aback by the fact that she’s the school’s first female golfer in so long.

“It’s really cool being the only girl in that long of time,” she said.

As for her game, Pultorak said her drives have “good distance but slice to the right. I need to fix that. Lately it’s been straighter.”

She says chipping is one of her strengths, while putting and iron play are weaknesses.

“I don’t have the patience for putting,” Pultorak said. “But, that’s getting better.”

Lessner said Pultorak is brave for being the only girl on the team.

“Some girls don’t want to come out by themselves,” he said. “It takes a lot of self-determination.”

Playing boys golf should benefit Pultorak greatly, according to Lessner.

“She’s teeing off from the men’s tees. That helps a girl not get discouraged,” Lessner said. “They don’t think they can do it, but she can. And, she’s beating other kids on the team. They can’t say, ‘You swing like a girl.’”

Pultorak file

School: Dixon

Year: Freshman

Other sports: Basketball, tumbling

FYI: First female golfer at Dixon since 1987. ... Brother Dan, a 2013 graduate, played 4 years on team. ... Mother Kristi is a regular in the Lincoln Highway Tournament

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