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Wesleyan's Winner (Dani Bellet)

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Our Taco John's Athlete of the Week is only a sophomore at Dakota Wesleyan, but in just two years, she has made her mark as one of the best golfers the school and the state have ever seen.  Jason Anschutz has more on Dani Bellet.

The Dakota Wesleyan golf team is stacked with seniors who have years of experience at the NAIA Tournament.  But when the Tigers tee it up this week, the player expected to shoot the lowest score will be nearing the end of her sophomore season.

"I knew she was gonna do great things," said DWU Golf Coach Adam Anderson.  "I didn't know it would come this early or this quickly, but I'm really happy to see it.  There's no one more deserving.  Dani's a great girl."

'Dani' is Danielle Bellet.  In just two years of college golf, Bellet has already been named GPAC Golfer of the Year twice.  Heading into Nationals, she has won nine straight tournaments, including an 18 stroke win at conference.

"I knew when I was recruiting her.  I could see the talent and the potential that she had," said Anderson.

"As a freshman she came on the team and she was really strong and again this year, she's proven herself very well and she's been at the top of the leaderboard every tournament," said DWU senior Kelly Daniels.

Bellet has a history of winning.  At Lead-Deadwood, her high school team won the state title every single year she played, and she won state as an individual her senior year.  Winning is part of the reason she chose DWU.

"I wanted to go to another school that was competitive that either won or was at the top of tournaments," said Bellet.

"I don't think she'd like to lose in anything she did," said Anderson.  "Whether it was a ping-pong game in the dorm or playing a game of cards."

This past summer, she won the Women's State Match Play Tournament as well.

"That's when everything seemed to start clicking for her and as a golfer," said Anderson.  "Once things start clicking you can get on a roll, and she's still on that roll and it's really nice to see."

With Nationals about to begin, Bellet is hoping to continue the roll she's been on.  She says her goal is to finish in the top 15 and earn All-American honors.  Her coach believes that is well within reach.

"She has the game, she has the confidence, she has the ability, it's just a question of going out and executing," said Anderson.

Luckily for Bellet and for Dakota Wesleyan, she's got this weekend and two more years after that to prove it.
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