Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
For seniors Haeley Diehl and Teagan Summers, participating in last week’s 3A State Girls Golf Championships in Mesquite was a reward for their dedication and improvement over the past four years. For sophomore Nadia Velasquez, it served as a taste of what is possible.
The three Fernley players were among the six individual qualifiers for the state tournament from the 3A North.
Summers had the best score among the Fernley trio, shooting a two day total of 175 in the 27-hole tournament, to finish in 28th place among 38 players. Velasquez shot 184 over the two days to finish 31st and Diehl shot 186 and finished 33rd.
The tournament was split up into two days, with nine holes being played on the first day and 18 holes on the second, although several players were not able to complete their rounds because of darkness. Day 1 of the tournament took place on the Canyons Course of the Oasis Golf Club. Day 2 of the tournament took place on the course at the Palms Golf Club.
Fernley coach Brian O’Neill said the state tournament is always a tougher event than the regular season because courses are difficult and there is more of a gallery.
“I think nerves got the best of the girls but they competed to the very end,” O’Neill said. “They each had a stretch of really good golf but also had to endure some of the tough carries and blind shots that are typical of Mesquite golf courses.”
When looking at the scoring averages, the seniors Diehl and Summers each cut more than 20 strokes off their season averages from their freshman year to their senior year, and O’Neill said they had a different demeanor on the course. A sophomore, Velasquez has also improved and O’Neill predicts she will continue to do so.
“She has that competitive nature and will want to improve upon her performance next year,” he said.
While some of the participants were upset that the tournament was shortened to 27 holes, and that some players were forced to scramble to finish before dark, and others were unable to finish, O’Neill said the most important thing for his players was getting to experience the state tournament atmosphere and festivities.
“The trip was enjoyable and the girls will have memories that they won’t forget,” he said.