Many college freshmen find themselves struggling with time management. For Vanessa McManaway, that shouldn’t be an issue.
The Edinburgh senior heads off to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in the fall, where she’ll be competing for the Pomeroys on the golf course. Balancing her athletic and academic challenges shouldn’t be too difficult, though, considering that McManaway has managed to succeed in three sports for the past four years.
In addition to being the Lancers’ No. 1 golfer in the fall, McManaway has been a four-year varsity player in basketball and softball as well.
Story continues below gallery
This week, she began work on earning her 12th varsity letter as the starting second baseman for a softball team looking to follow up on the second regional title in program history.
Just about every success that Edinburgh has enjoyed in girls sports during the past four years has involved McManaway somehow; she’s been a part of three sectional championship teams since 2016.
“You might see some multisport athletes, but usually not highly competitive at each sport,” Edinburgh softball coach Stephen Clark said. “That says a lot.”
Golf, which McManaway picked up as a freshman, will be her main focus after she graduates; she earned All-County honors this past fall after posting a nine-hole average of 45.3 and finishing fourth individually at the Johnson County tournament.
But asking the multitalented senior to choose a favorite sport is kind of like asking a parent to pick a favorite child.
“I can’t really pick a favorite,” McManaway said. “I’m going to really miss softball and basketball when I go to college. But I think I’m going to be okay with just playing golf.”
Before she’s forced to narrow her focus to one sport, McManaway has big plans this spring on the diamond. She batted .410 last season with two home runs, 25 runs scored and 22 runs batted in for the Lancers, who went 21-6 and advanced all the way to the semistate.
Clark believes that playing multiple sports has helped McManaway become a better softball player, even though he’s been known to tease her about spreading herself too thin.
“I always joke with her that I wish she didn’t play golf because it messes with her softball swing a little bit,” he said. “But she’s got great hand-eye coordination, and I think that’s why she’s successful at all of them.”
Come August, McManaway will only have to worry about being successful at one — and as much as she’s enjoyed playing three sports at Edinburgh, she knows that being able to devote more time to her golf game should help her improve significantly.
“Obviously those who stick with one sport, they’re going to be really successful with that sport,” she said.
During high school, McManaway has been able to compartmentalize each season, setting specific goals for each sport and devoting that particular season to reaching them.
With one season of softball left, she still has some lofty goals in mind for herself and the Lancers, who won’t be satisfied by a third straight sectional crown.
“We’re going to go really far this year,” she stated.
Vanessa McManaway will be playing golf in college, but she’s helped lead Edinburgh to success in her “other” sports as well. A look at the championship teams she’s been a part of for the Lancers:
2017;Sectional and regional