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Truckee girls’ golf team gearing up for challenge of state

JAMES BALL, Sierra Sun

Though the Tahoe-Truckee High School girls’ golf team took second at Fernley last Friday, the team’s numbers are improving dramatically as the state championship continues today in Reno.

Starting the season with a team posting of 569 in the first tournament, the team’s numbers improved every week thereafter: 544, 528, 520, 500 (par-62 course), and, finally, a 505 last week at Fernley.

At Fernley, Truckee took second to Battle Mountain (482), another installment in the season-long back and forth struggle for first between the two teams.

“That was our second-best score on a big course and we just couldn’t win,” said Truckee coach Mike Merriman. We played well enough to win most tournaments.

“They (BM) had four girls break 100.”

Truckee had two girls break 100: Renee Trudeau at 86 and Megan Harter at 90.

Kim Waller shot 106, her best of the year.

“The Battle Mountain girls are really tough,” said Merriman. “If they do that at state, no one will touch them. I don’t expect that to happen.”

Also expected to play well is the Pahrump team from Southern Nevada, the defending state champions.

“They might do something, but from what I’ve seen of their scores, we can beat them.”

Private Reno-based Bishop Manogue, No. 1 in the central division, has a distinct advantage in that the state championship course, Wolf Run in Reno, is its home course.

Still, as Merriman puts it, “I expect Battle Mountain to be the team to beat.”

As far as what it will take to win state, Merriman cites a range of 510-500 on either day as enough to win a championship.

Truckee has never won a girls’ golf state championship.

Individually, Merriman said he feels Trudeau can win the state title if she remains true to the consistent scores she has posted this year.

“I think she has an excellent shot at a title,” Merriman said. “She has the lowest average in the state.”

“I expected better last year,” Trudeau said. “I just didn’t do so well.”

Trudeau said, with the aid of Tahoe Donner golf pro Bruce Toll, she has improved her play quite a bit by working on putting and spending more time on the links.

Asked where she expected to finish this year, Trudeau modestly predicted in the top three.

She said she hopes the team finishes in the top two, with Battle Mountain the sticking point.

Merriman said Harter’s performance will also be key to a team title.

“Megan also has a chance (at an individual title). She’s been playing very well.”

Both Trudeau and Harter play in the state championship match for the second time, with both having been in the 1997 meet.

Harter finished fifth in the state last year.

Trudeau finished further down the list.

“She’s playing much more consistently this year,” Merriman said of the junior.

The format of the tournament is as follows: scores from Wednesday’s first round will determine the order of play on Thursday, with the highest shooters going first and the lowest players going last.

Results of the state tournament will be carried in next week’s issue of the Sierra Sun.

Can Truckee get past Battle Mountain for its first state championship in girls’ golf?

“That’s a tough one,” Trudeau said.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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