Monika Vicario Brings Experience, Leadership to Growing Program

As a child growing up in Bamberg, Germany, Monika Vicario (nee Hertl) started playing the sport of golf as a way to spend time with her family and create competitions with her siblings. Little did she know at the time, the game would eventually bring her halfway across the world to Raleigh, North Carolina.

“I started playing golf when I was eight,” Vicario said. “It started as a friendly competition with my parents and my older brother, and I was decent at it. So, I just kept going and improving and pushing myself to get better.”

Pushing herself to get better eventually led to the idea of going to college. As a student in Germany, Vicario did not have as many opportunities in the country to play sports while in college, as most people see in the United States. The desire to continue her education and continue to play the sport she fell in love with drew her to the state of North Carolina.

“It was always a dream of mine to go to the United States to continue playing, so I started looking at places where the weather would allow me to play year-round,” continued Vicario. “I wasn’t sure at the time if I wanted to try and go pro or just play as a recreational activity, but then I did an official visit to N.C. State and it was awesome, and I fell in love with the city of Raleigh.”

Vicario arrived as a first-year player for the Wolfpack for the 2017-18 season. Prior to traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, she was slotted No. 5 in Germany’s junior golf rankings and No. 93 in European golf rankings.

Across her four seasons at N.C. State, Vicario found herself in several places on the program’s records page. Currently, she sits second in team history with a 74.42 stroke average and is one of just three student-athletes in the program’s history to have a single-season average in the 72s, as she finished the 2019-20 season with a 72.66 stroke average. Vicario also claimed Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Scholar All-American honors twice while donning the red, white and black, and qualified for the NCAA Regional Championship Tournament as a senior.

Despite constant success out on the course, Vicario had her goals set somewhere else – helping others. After earning a degree in nutrition science at N.C. State, Vicario had a choice of either pursuing a golf career or focusing on her degree track. She chose to continue her education at Meredith College.

“I want to become a dietician, I really like the idea of helping people with medical ailments by using nutrition instead of medicines, so I started looking around at graduate programs and I saw Meredith College,” said Vicario. “I scheduled a visit and the campus environment and the faculty were awesome, so it was an easy choice to make. I also still had an extra year of eligibility to continue playing the sport I’ve grown to love.”

The Meredith College women’s golf program is still a relatively new intercollegiate addition as the team became the ninth sport under the athletic department umbrella. In September 2019, it was announced that the club team would become a varsity program as the school also released plans to add field hockey a year later, as well. With Vicario’s addition to the team, she immediately became a leader for the younger players. With her experience playing high-level competition and also being a new player on a program before, she was ready for the challenge.

In the team’s first event of the 2021-22 season, Vicario set a new program record after carding a five-under par 67 in the first round of the Flyers Invitational at Longleaf Golf and Family Club near Pinehurst, North Carolina. She followed that up with a two-over par 74 to finish at three-under par and took individual medalist honors by nine strokes over the second-place finisher. With the individual victory and program record round, Vicario was named the first USA South Women’s Golfer of the Week of the 2021-22 season and the first golfer to earn conference honors in team history.

“I want to support the girls here where they are with their goals and in life, I try to help them and give them advice from my experiences,” said Vicario. “It’s also my last year of golf, so I’m focusing on having fun for myself and I want to make sure everyone around me is enjoying their time as well because it doesn’t last forever. I didn’t even want to know how I was shooting at the time or when I was done because there are a lot of great golfers in the region, and I just want to make sure we have a good time and accomplish our own goals.”

Head Golf Coach Jimmy Hamilton immediately noticed the changes that Vicario brought to the team at their first event.

“It was amazing to see,” said Hamilton. “Not only did she play fantastic golf, but you could also tell she cares about the other ladies on the team. Even seeing her turn around after she was done and waiting for the team to finish up and passing along encouragement and keeping them smiling, she’s helping the team grow together already.”

On October 13, Vicario earned her second USA South Women’s Golfer of the Week honors. Read more at

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330