Paige Miller heard from her fair share of small schools hoping to convince her to join their girls golf team throughout the recruiting process. Ultimately, Miller opted for the only school she ever considered and announced her commitment to play golf for Minnesota State University, Mankato, a Division II program, on Sunday.
Miller signed her letter of intent a few weeks ago before the Fall signing day deadline, and will have a ceremony at Muscatine High School sometime in the Spring.
“When I visited in the summer I toured the campus and really enjoyed the setup,” Miller said. “It’s a really good fit for me.”
However, the main reason Mankato is the" perfect fit" for Miller, a two-time state qualifier for Muscatine and ninth place finisher last season, had nothing to do with golf. The Muskie senior chose the Mavericks for their Nutrition program, as she’s taken a recent interest in healthy eating and hopes to become a Dietitian. In fact, Miller says she enjoys cooking healthy meals, and will avoid fast food restaurants unless she has no choice on a bus ride home from a sporting event.
“I can see myself helping others make the right choices in what they’re putting into their bodies,” Miller said. “I think it’s really fascinating that what you eat can affect so many different things in the way you act.”
For as much as Miller loves golf, Muscatine coach Tom Randleman said she’ll prioritize education. Both Randleman and Miller said Nick Campa, the Mankato coach, feels the same way and that helped draw Miller to the school.
“He’s a coach that wants to win, but what’s more important to him is academics coming first and athletics second,” Randleman said. “He knows how important it is for kids to get on campus, study and work hard in their studies. It was good to hear that from him.”
Miller broke through at the Class 5A state golf meet last season with a two-day score of 159 and a ninth place finish. Randleman is confident she'll continue to work hard at the next level. In fact, Mankato's all business approach was the final push Miller needed to sign with the Mavericks.
“When they go on their spring break trip they base it solely on golfing, they don’t do any fun stuff,” Miller said. “They just focus solely on golf and I found that very fascinating and interesting. It made me realize that they are very serious about what they do and their passionate about their program.”