With each passing tournament, the Wells girls golf team has faced closer opposition from up-and-coming West Wendover.
Wells won its rain-shortened home tournament on Sept. 19 with a nine-hole team score of 242, narrowly edging West Wendover’s collective card of 244 by two strokes.
The Lady Wolverines closed the gap significantly after finishing 13 strokes behind the Lady Leopards on Sept. 11, in Elko.
On Monday, the action returned to Chimney Rock Golf Course — the stakes a little higher and the weather a lot better — the Lady Leopards hosting the Division 1A-2A East regional tournament.
The defending 1A-2A state champs once again prevailed, but Wells’ victory came by the slimmest margin possible.
Wells claimed the regional title with a team score of 472, West Wendover challenging greatly once again but falling one-stroke shy at 473.
“It was a very close meet, but we managed to fight through and hang on for the win,” said Wells head coach Bob Woolsey.
Despite the presence of five programs, the Lady Leopards and the Lady Wolverines were the only teams with qualifying scores — all the others falling at least a golfer short of a four-girl roster.
The Lady Leopards not only walked away with the team trophy, they also snagged the individual hardware as well.
Grace Calton shot a personal-best 102 and opened a three-stroke lead for the regional championship.
She was followed in second place by a 105 from West Wendover’s Kayla Jones, who was the runner-up to the regional crown.
The Lady Wolverines placed two girls in the top-three, Rebecca Wahlstrom taking third with a round of 114.
Battle Mountain’s Destiny Villanueva finished fourth with a 114 after losing a tiebreaker with Wahlstrom, and Wells’ Holly Pearson rounded out the top-five with a 120.
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The medalists were closed by a 121 from Mackenzie Wachtel, giving the Lady Leopards three girls in the top-six.
“Mackenzie, our No. 1, injured her shoulder over the weekend — which made golfing tough,” Woolsey said. “She fought through it and still came away with the sixth-place medal.”
In seventh, Adriana Robles capped the Lady Longhorns’ roster with a 123.
West Wendover’s Dulce Gonzalez closed her round with a 124 for eighth place, and Wells’ Lauren Steele ranked ninth with a 129 — finishing off the qualifying scoring for the Lady Leopards.
West Wendover’s Katelyn Boatman tied for 10th with a 130 — the Lady Leopards and the Lady Wolverines each placing four girls in the top-10 — closing out the team scoring.
White Pine’s Alyssa Zehr tied Boatman for 10th place with a 130 of her own.
In non-qualifying scores, Luna Gonzalez and Sarah Childress posted rounds of 143 and 145, respectively, for West Wendover.
Round Mountain’s Audrey Richardson led the Lady Knights with a round of 143, followed by a 147 from Olivia Ortiz and a 164 from Moesha Tanimoto — falling a girl short of posting a qualifying score as a team.
Behind Zehr, White Pine’s three-girl roster was capped by a 149 by Andrea Overson and a 157 from Janessa Merrill.
For the Lady Leopards, Trynity Herzog and Lizbeth Flores notched respective non-qualifying rounds of 148 and 158.
As the Lady Wolverines continue to close the gap, Wells will attempt to defend its state title on West Wendover’s home turf — the Division 1A-2A Nevada State Girls Golf Championships teeing off at 9 a.m. Monday and Tuesday at Toana Vista Golf Club.