Saluki captain drives to end career big

By Matt Ferguson


Senior captain Shaina Rennegarbe said she has learned it takes discipline and proper time management to be successful in golf and in life.

Both lessons, she said, she learned during her time playing golf.


Rennegarbe is finishing her golf career in top form, as she has posted a 77.1 stroke average over the last four tournaments and tied a career-low 72 in the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate, where she tied for second. Her performance has gained conference recognition, as she was recently awarded the MVC women’s golfer of the week.

Coach Alexis Mihelich said Rennegarbe is making her final year as a Saluki worthwhile.

“I really think Shaina is playing pretty good because this is her last semester of her senior year,” she said. “She really wants to end her career on a high note and knowing that she has always been capable of playing this way.”

Her senior season has been the best since her sophomore campaign, where she posted a 78.9 season stroke average and shot, a then career-low 72 at the Cardinal Classic. She will set a new career-low stroke average before the MVC tournament. If she continues her current pace over the last two events.

Beyond her course play, she’s a women’s golf team representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. The committee is in charge of aiding events such as Natalie’s Toy Drive held at SIU Arena. Natalie Marshall, a 12-year-old Leukemia survivor from Anna, has helped lead the southern Illinois community collect toys for cancer awareness.

Liz Smith, an academic adviser in athletics, said it was nice to see athletes doing some good in Carbondale.

“SAAC is unique because it’s for student athletes, and it helps them give back to the community that supports them so much,” she said. “It’s a really good opportunity for them to give back by using their platform of being a student athlete by helping this little girl raise toys.”


As a two-year member, Rennegarbe said she enjoys her work with the SAAC and recalls her time with Natalie fondly.

“Doing the Natalie’s toy drive was really fun,” she said. “Especially last year, whenever we got to see her crawling on the gym floor at an SIU game. You can tell that she really appreciated (our help).” She’ll look to take her community work beyond her college years and into her future career as a dentist. She said it was not an easy path, but it has been worth it.

Rennegarbe looks to take her community work into her future career as a dentist. She said it was not an easy path, but it has been worth it.

“After shadowing a local dentist in Carbondale over the last couple years and exploring different options I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” she said. “It’s been my dream for quite a while, and I’ve worked really hard to get in.”

After she finishes at SIU, she plans to attend SIUE to finish her degree and begin searching for a dentistry career. Despite the work she does with the SAAC, the team and her classes, she said she can handle it all thanks to her sports background.

“I was ready for (the demands) when I came in as a freshman, but you don’t realize what kind of time it demands until you’re actually in it,” she said. “That’s one of the best things about being an athlete. You learn how to adapt to different situations and just being able to handle stress.”