Incline golf | Highlanders dominate state championship tournament | SierraSun.com

Incline golf | Highlanders dominate state championship tournament

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com

State championships are nothing new to the Incline girls golf team.

Winning a state championship by a 158-point margin — that's a different story.

The Incline girls captured their third consecutive Division III state championship in dominant fashion last week at Carson City's Eagle Valley East Golf Course. The Highlanders, who have now won seven titles since 2000, swept the top three spots and placed all five of their scoring golfers in the top 10.

When the dust settled from the two-day tournament, Incline posted a winning score of 758 to runner-up Wells' 916. Battle Mountain was third at 1,013.

"It was pretty impressive," said longtime Incline coach Joe Humasti, adding that the Highlanders have never swept the top three in a state tournament. "We felt confident going in, but a number of things could happen in a golf tournament, and it's not over until the final putt drops. But our short game set us apart from the field."

Incline had the title all but in the bag after Day 1, as the Highlanders, led by individual state champion Devi Meyers, fired a team-record 375. That gave them an 89-point lead over Wells (464). In windy conditions on Day 2, Incline posted a team score of 383, while Wells came in at 452.

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No one played better than Meyers, who improved on her runner-up state finish as a junior last year. Meyers carded a 79 on the first day and 87 on the second, for a winning score of 166.

"Devi was very determined to go out winning a state title," Humasti said of his senior. "She worked hard all year. All the girls did. They're a hard-working team. They concentrated on every aspect of the game."

Meyers shared the podium with two of her teammates, as Kennedy Cohn posted a score of 181 (87-94) for second place and Christine Schwartz placed third with a 197 (100-97).

Incline's Brooke Ruhl finished seventh at 217 (109-108) and Haley Carlson was ninth at 218 (112-106). Tori Findlen, who missed the first day due to sickness, came back to shoot a 105 on the second day.

"What's good about this team is that it's very well balanced," Humasti said. "All the girls are very competitive. It's probably the most balanced team we've ever had."

Kristine Horita, competing individually for Mountain View, finished fourth at 201 (103-98), and Kaitlyn Alton of Wells rounded out the top five at 214 (107-107). In the team competition, West Wendover came in fourth (1,107) and Yerington (1,125) was fifth.

"Despite the big win, the girls were very respectful of their competition and showed good sportsmanship," Humasti said.

Aside from their state title, which cemented the Highlanders' third-ever three-peat, Incline was awarded the Division III academic state championship for earning a collective GPA of 3.75.

"I'm very proud of them," Humasti said. "What they did is pretty special."

The Highlanders' other state championships came in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2012 and 2013. Their seven titles ranks third in the NIAA record book, behind Reno (9) and Green Valley (8).