Nothing about the Division III State Girls Golf Championship was easy.
And that was just fine by Incline.
The Highlanders earned their second state championship in as many years Friday on a difficult-playing, 5,139-yard Toana Vista Golf Course in West Wendover.
Led by a runner-up finish individually by defending state champ Devi Meyers, Incline won the event by more than 120 strokes, with a team score of 860 to second-place Wells’ 981.
“I’m very proud of the team,” said longtime Incline golf coach Joe Humasti, explaining how the course challenged the 34-player field. “You had to have excellent course management to play well. The greens were lightning fast and the approach shots were difficult to hold. Many girls were four- and five-putting the fast greens.”
Adding to the challenge, Humasti said, the pins also were located in difficult spots on the greens.
Despite the arduous nature of the course, the Highlanders excelled, placing four of their five scoring golfers in the top 10 to run away with the school’s sixth-ever girls golf title.
Meyers finished just one stroke away from a repeat state title. The junior posted a two-day total of 191 (96-95), while Rachel Horita of Mountain View took the crown with a 190 (94-96). The two players entered the final hole tied. The next-closest finisher, Jessica Jones of Battle Mountain, carded a 209 (104-105).
“I was impressed with the way Devi kept coming back hole after hole and finally catching the leader,” Humasti said. “She never gave up and that was the character of our team this year. She fought to the very end.”
Humasti said he couldn’t be more pleased with all his players. While Meyers battled for top honors, Incline junior Lauren Keller and freshman Kennedy Cohn finished in a three-way tie for fifth with White Pine’s Taylor Kane, all with two-day scores of 219. Based on a scorecard playoff, Cohn was awarded fifth, Keller sixth and Kane seventh.
Incline freshman Christine Schwartz placed ninth with a score of 231 (120-111), and Brooke Ruhl, a junior, rounded out Incline’s team score with a 13th-place finish (260, 128-132). Sophomore Tori Findlen finished 15th (267, 130-137), while freshman Karyss Thompson provided depth as the Highlanders’ alternate.
“All year long we have been stressing the importance of coming together as a team, and that was a total team effort,” Humasti said. “So many people contributed.”
Humasti, who began coaching Incline’s girls golf team in 1991, now has more girls state championships (6) than any coach in NIAA history. Friday’s title set him apart from Pahrump Valley’s Julie Floyd and Wooster’s Sharon Klise, both of whom have five.
“The main goal of our program is just to be competitive,” Humasti said. “And the results come from that competitive attitude.”
Among other team scores, Battle Mountain finished third with a two-day total of 1,053, White Pine was fourth (1,196) and Round Mountain fifth (1,213). Abigail Johnson of North Tahoe, who qualified to compete individually, finished eighth (223, 110-113).
“I’m very proud of the team. You had to have excellent course management to play well.”
IHS girls golf coach