Incline golf | Mitchell Cornell, Highlanders win Division III state title | SierraSun.com

Incline golf | Mitchell Cornell, Highlanders win Division III state title

Sylas Wright
swright@sierrasun.com
The Incline High boys golf team earned a Division III state championship this week with a two-round team win at the Championship Golf Course in Incline. The team, from left: Coach Joe Humasti, Johnny Lockhardt, Jeremy Goldberg, Nico Cruz, Bryan Golombik, Mitchell Cornell, Dylan Smith, Peter Larson, Brad Swick and coach Chuck Jensen. The title was the second ever for the Incline boys, and first since 1993. Read full coverage in Sports, page 19.
Courtesy Vicki Cruz |

Division III state championship results

Team results

1. Incline 430, 453 — 883

2. White Pine 456, 448 — 904

3. Needles 455, 458 — 913

4. Battle Mountain 470, 483 — 953

5. Lake Mead 483, 477 — 960

6. Whittell 501, 494 — 995

Individual results

1. Mitchell Cornell, Incline 73, 71 — 144

2. Chris Young, White Pine 77, 75 — 152

3. Bryan Golombik, Incline 73, 82 — 155

4. Griffin Cooper, Yerington 76, 85 — 161

5. Dylan Smith, Incline 81, 81 — 162

5. Colin Young, White Pine 81, 81 — 162

7. Quinn Earley, North Tahoe 84, 85 — 169

8. Zarek Phillips, Needles 86, 85 — 171

8. Nick Herrero, Lake Mead 82, 89 — 171

10. Kevin Inthachack, Meadows 84, 89 — 173

Well-rested after sleeping in their own beds, the Highlanders punished the visiting field on Day 1 of the Division III state championship golf tournament at Incline’s Championship Course on Monday.

There was no catching the hosts from there.

Incline, which led second-place Needles by 25 strokes after the first day, cruised on Day 2 to earn the Division III state title by a 21-stroke margin. It was Incline’s first state championship in boys golf since 1993, which was also the last time the Highlanders hosted a state tournament.

“We set a great pace the first day. The first day won the tournament for us,” said Incline coach Joe Humasti, who also led the Incline girls golf team to a state title this past fall. “There’s a lot of pressure in a state tournament, and we responded well. I’m proud of everybody.”

The Highlanders were far from favored to win. They entered the state tournament as the No. 2 Northern seed after finishing second in the regional championships. Battle Mountain, which won the Northern regional, and Needles and White Pine from the South were all favored over Incline.

“It goes to show that no matter what your seed is in a state tournament, you always have a chance of winning it,” Humasti said.

In addition to the Highlanders’ team championship, Incline junior Mitchell Cornell topped the field on both days of the tournament to earn the individual state title.

Cornell — who finished second, one stroke away from victory each of the past two state tournaments — fired a one-over-par 73 on Day 1 and a one-under-par 71 on Day 2, both in windy conditions, for a two-day score of 144. He entered the tournament as the top Northern seed after winning the regional title.

“Mitchell lost state twice by one shot, but he’s a great competitor and he was tenacious and focused,” Humasti said. “He has great course management and was in control of every shot.”

Incline teammate Bryan Golombik played out of his mind on Day 1, Humasti said. Golombik carded a career-best 73, which had him in second place. He shot an 82 on Day 2 for a collective score of 155, which was good enough for third place. He was fourth at regionals.

“Bryan was on fire. Everything he hit was right at the pin,” Humasti said.

Defending state champion Chris Young of White Pine finished second, shooting a 77 and 75 (152), and Yerington’s Griffin Cooper was fourth (76, 85 — 161).

Incline’s Dylan Smith, who was fifth at regionals, also finished among the leaders. Smith shot an 81 on both days to finish in a fifth-place tie with White Pine’s Colin Young.

Also for Incline, Peter Larson placed 38th (101-108, 209), Johnny Lockhardt was 39th (102, 111 — 213) and Nico Cruz tied for 43rd (108, 123 — 231).

Incline ended with a two-day team score of 883 (430, 453). White Pine outplayed Needles on Day 2 to finish second with a score of 904 (456, 448). Needles (455, 458 — 913) was third and was followed by Battle Mountain (470, 483 — 953), Lake Mead (483, 477 — 960) and Whittell (501, 494 — 995).

“Knowing the course helped quite a bit. We know where the trouble areas are and how to set up on the greens,” Humasti said. “But we still had to play well, and we rose to the occasion.”