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The Iron Cowgirl: Stark dominating competition after unusual collegiate journey

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Maja Stark lines up her shot at Day 1 of the Cowgirl Classic at Karsten Creek on October 22, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Maja Stark’s journey at Oklahoma State has been anything but smooth, but now she has overcome it all as she’s began dominating competitions.

When Stark finally arrived in Stillwater after the start of the spring semester in 2020, she had to miss the Cowgirls first tournament of 2020 due to NCAA rules.

Then when everything seemed to be trending up for her collegiate career, it all came back down. After just her first two tournaments, COVID-19 ended the season for the Cowgirls.

Then in March 2020, Stark boarded a plane back to Sweden, where she would not leave home until the European Championships in September 2020.

The Swedish team won the event.

“It wasn’t a very hard decision (to compete at European Championship),” Stark said. “When we had such good competitions at home, and everything was pretty much normal, at least in Sweden.”

However, after that international event, Stark came back to OSU and wasn’t playing her best.

In her first event of the fall, the Cowgirl Classic back in October, she shot 11-over-par, which is her highest score of her collegiate career.

“I had to be in quarantine for a while, and that made me kind of lose some momentum because I was coming off eight competitions in seven weeks in a row,” Stark said.

Then after her two fall events, the team had a break from competition. Stark went and played in the U.S. Women’s Open. Stark’s putter found its stride, and it led to her finishing 13th in the event.

“I think she’s been comfortable with the competition and playing at this level,” coach Greg Robertson said. “She’s riding some confidence from (the U.S. Open), and looking to continue to grow, improve and keep getting better.”

Stark concurred.

“I felt pretty normal going into the fall season, but it was going into the spring season where I was like, ‘If I can place there in the U.S. Open, then I could win in college tournaments,’” Stark said.

In just six tournaments, she already holds two victories and four top-10’s. Stark also tied the school’s scoring record with a 15-under Heroes Invitational win.

The individual accolades mean a lot to Stark, but the team has a goal to end up competing in the National Championship. With two tournaments under their belt, the Cowgirls' goal could become reality.

“I think everyone here wants to win a national championship, and I think it would be really cool if we could be the first women’s team at this school to win a NCAA championship,” Stark said.

sports.ed@ocolly.com