Team totals are down from a year ago, but that falls largely to a logistical change. The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, the state’s governing body for prep sports, implemented a new rule for the 2008 season, making schools count just four individual scores toward a team total rather than five, as has been the case in past seasons.
The SSHS total of 372 bested the 398 of Reno and 401 of Elko.
Spanish Springs sophomore Tess Jones took home the individual medalist honors by carding a score of 85 Tuesday. She was the lone player in the field to post a score below 90.
Spanish Springs also had two of its players tie for second overall. Rachel Martin and Ashleigh Sorensen made up that duo as both golfers scored 91 on the day. They were joined by Reno’s Veronica Becker in the three-way tie for second.
“We have a lot of confidence. We have a deep team. Even though we’re young, we have a lot of talent,” Spanish Springs coach Victor Sherbondy said. “It’s the opening tournament and we’ve got a lot to work on, but most of the girls played consistent golf and didn’t make any major mistakes all day.”
The Cougars’ fourth and final counting individual score came from junior Brittany Best, who posted a 105. That score was a bit of a disappointment for Best, who is the Cougars’ top returning player from last year’s state-tournament qualifying squad. She did not score in the triple digits in 2007.
“That’s her worst round in over a year. I think a number of things contributed to that,” Sherbondy said. “She came into the season as the top-ranked returning golfer on our team when you do that, you put a lot of pressure on yourself. It’s early. She hasn’t found her stroke yet, but we’ve got a long way to go and she’ll definitely find it.”
Spanish Springs freshmen Devin Gaddis and Rochelle Mikkelson both put up scores of 121 in their first competitive tournament. Teams can play six golfers but count just the top four scores.
The Reed team also competed in Tuesday’s tournament. The Raiders were fourth overall with a team score of 425.
Reed’s Jocelyn Motter wrapped up a sixth-place overall individual finish thanks to a personal-best score of 97. Lindsey Porter (104), Tess Oliphant (108) and Nicole Echeto made up the rest of the Raiders’ scoring contingent. Imara Ahmed and Carlee Payne both finished with scores of 122 and were Reed’s non-counting individuals..
“I’m excited. We had a lot of personal bests today. We had a lot of good showings for it being the first tournament,” Raiders coach Danielle Fleiner said. “We put some kids in positions where there were higher expectations on them. They stepped up, had great attitudes and had fun. It showed.”
Spanish Springs, Reed and the rest of their HDL rivals will be in action again next Tuesday in the season’s second tournament of the season, slated for Redhawk Golf Club, starting at 11:50 a.m.