Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WASHINGTON — It was a debate between Creighton and Mount Mercy. Creighton has 8,200 students, Mount Mercy 1,400. Creighton finished third in the Big East Conference Tournament, Mount Mercy tied for first, but lost a playoff for the Heart of America Athletic Conference title.
Washington’s Josie Tanner used a different set of numbers to decide where to further her academic and athletic career. It is 250 miles to Omaha where Creighton charges an average of $41,000 a year for tuition and 60 miles to Cedar Rapids where Mount Mercy charges $33,000.
Creighton is a “really cool school, has a really cool campus, but it is just so far away that I didn’t know if that would work for me and it was a lot more expensive,” Tanner said. “Mount Mercy made a lot more sense. Plus it was closer to home.”
She visited those schools as well as Coe and Iowa. The visits were last winter before the coronavirus pandemic started, so they were “pretty normal.” It was an additional visit this spring to Mount Mercy that sealed her choice.
Tanner decided on Mount Mercy before she decided to also golf. Her scholarship is full tuition, then additional funds for golfing as well as local scholarships have her first year paid for, “and that is exciting. I plan to live on campus all four years,” Tanner said.
Tentatively planning a major in nursing, Tanner is working as a certified nursing assistant at Halcyon House and “that has been a lot of fun, but I don’t think that is the rest of my life. I would be more interested in pediatrics.”
Schooling may be targeted to be a registered nurse, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. “Whatever I decide still is out, I just don’t know yet,” Tanner said.
Tanner’s college coach will be Molly Altorfer, who just took the job after being the assistant at Cedar Rapids Washington High School.
“I just talked to the coach in person (Thursday) and found out she watched my first round at state, which I wish she didn’t see that,” Tanner said. “I didn’t know she was there, which was a good thing.”
Altorfer also watched Kaitlyn Hotchkiss of Cedar Rapids Xavier, who finished tied for third and will attend Mount Mercy.
"We are extremely excited to welcome a student-athlete of Josie's caliber to the Mount Mercy University women's golf program,“ Altorfer said.
Tanner represents the Mount Mercy ideal of a women’s team golfer, according to Altorfer: academically focused, dedicated to improving her game, and a person of high moral integrity and character.
“Josie will do fine in college,” Washington coach Len Kull said. “Of course they’ll want to change a lot of things, that’s just what they do in college. It’s neat that all three of our seniors are going to play in college.”
Kiki Bruner will play for the University of Central Missouri and Anna Nacos the University of Northern Iowa.
“Josie can hit it a long way, but it’s just the direction it goes, you never know,” Kull said. “She has a really good approach game.”
Altorfer said Tanner’s ability to be long off the tee combined with a solid short game results in competitive scores.
“She's a very smart and strategic player and her strong high school golf career as a Washington Demon will translate to success at our level of play as we contend for NAIA championships,” Altorfer said. “We are grateful Josie chose Mount Mercy and as her coach, I'm thrilled to be a part of her academic and athletic development over the next four years.
“I’d take 10 more Josies!”