Championship form: Incline girls golf wins fourth straight title
Division III state championship
1. Incline, 395-407—802
2. West Wendover, 468-451—919
3. Battle Mountain, 490-494—984
4. Yerington, 583-594—1,177
5. Tonopah, 762-705—1,467
Individual results (top 10 plus Incline)
1. Sarah Isaacs, West Wendover, 94-94—188
2. Kennedy Cohn, Incline, 93-97—190
3. Kirsten Alton, Wells, 99-94—193
4. Kaitlyn Alton, Wells, 97-98—195
5. Christine Schwartz, Incline, 100-99—199
6. Kami Niles, Sierra Lutheran, 98-103—201
7. Tori Findlen, Incline, 100-102—202
8. Kristine Horita, Mountain View, 110-95—205
9. Haley Carlson, Incline, 102-109—211
10. Adyson Casteel, Sierra Lutheran, 116-105—221
21. Bridgette Johnson, Incline, 135-140—275
25. Kristina Goetz, Incline, 158-152—310
Longtime Incline coach Joe Humasti likes to say that “anything can happen in a golf match.” But after Day 1 of the two-day state championship tournament in Ely last week, even he knew that his Highlanders had all but sealed the deal.
The Incline girls dominated their competition on both days en route to a fourth consecutive Division III state championship — a feat never achieved in the Highlanders’ storied golf history.
“This is the most balanced team we’ve ever had,” Humasti said. “As you know, there’s no favorite in golf, and the girls didn’t take anything for granted. But they were in the driver’s seat on Day 2 and were pretty confident. With that big of a lead, all they had to do was trust their swings and go out and have fun.”
Playing in ideal golf conditions — sunny with no wind and temperatures in the low 80s — Incline built a 73-stroke lead over second-place West Wendover, 395-468, on Day 1. The Highlanders outscored the Wolverines 407-451 the second day to capture the title by 117 strokes, 802-919.
Battle Mountain (984) finished third and was followed by Yerington (1,177) and Tonopah (1,467).
The latest championship brings the Incline girls’ total to eight, which ranks second in the NIAA record book to Reno High’s nine. Humasti has led the Incline girls to all eight championships, which tops the coaches’ list.
In addition to Incline’s team championship, Kennedy Cohn finished two strokes away from the individual title, while all four of the Highlanders’ scorers finished in the top 10.
Cohn led the field after Day 1 with a 93. She fired a 97 the next day to finish with a two-day total of 190. Sarah Isaacs of West Wendover won the individual title with a 188 (94-94).
“It was Kennedy’s best tournament of the season, so she really rose to the occasion,” Humasti said.
Christine Schwartz, who won four of the five regular-season tournaments, finished fifth with a 199 (100-99), Tori Findlen was seventh (100-102—202) and Haley Carlson was ninth (102-109—211). Incline’s Bridgette Johnson finished 21st (135-140—275) and Kristina Goetz 25th (158-152—310).
“That just shows you what a great, balanced team this is. All six of our girls played as a unit, and that contributed to our success,” Humasti said.
The coach added that the “wide open,” 5,359-yard, par 72 White Pine Country Golf Course in Ely required a smart approach, and that the Highlanders knew as much after playing a practice round the day before the tournament.
“The girls were familiar with course and they knew they had to use a lot of course management,” he said. “They thought about every shot. They didn’t just fire at the pin. They had a strategy.”
While Humasti expects Incline’s competition to improve by next season, so should the Highlanders, who will lose only one senior, Findlen, to graduation. Findlen is the only Incline golfer to be a part of four championship teams.
Perhaps more impressive than Incline’s latest championship feat, Humasti said, was how graciously the team conducted itself.
“The girls showed a lot of integrity and class. I am very proud of them,” Humasti said. “They will improve by next year and should be very strong again.”
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.