4A GOLF: Coronado claims individual, team titles

CARSON CITY — A gallery of about 30 had gathered around the 18th green as Victoria Estrada approached to survey the situation, but her work was already mostly done.

Estrada was leading by five strokes and her second shot on the 357-yard, par-4 had settled about 5 feet left of the pin. She beamed as she walked up the fairway.

“Look at that smile,” one of her teammates said, as they huddled against the cool breeze.

“I would be, too,” responded another.

Estrada’s first putt came up about 4 inches short, but she tapped in for par to finish off the individual and team titles at the Class 4A girls state Tuesday afternoon at the Eagle Valley West Golf Course. It is the third consecutive state championship for the Cougars.

“It was surreal; I couldn’t help but smile,” Estrada said. “To be the first individual girls state champion from Coronado is just amazing.”

Estrada shot 1-under-par 71 in Tuesday’s second round to finish with a two-day total of 146 to win the individual title by five strokes. Teammate Ashley Lung shot the meet’s low round with a 70 to finish at 151 and claim a second-place tiebreaker over Annick Haczkiewicz of Palo Verde.

First-round leader Hunter Pate of Bishop Gorman shot an 80 to finish fourth at 154, while Sami Penor of Coronado was fifth at 157 and Jada McAlister of Spanish Springs was sixth at 159.

After leading the first round by 16 strokes, Coronado ran away with the team title on Tuesday, posting a team score of 298 to finish at 615. Bishop Gorman was second at 678, followed by Palo Verde (699), Reno (706), Spanish Springs (735) and Green Valley (828).

“This team is by far the best girls team I’ve ever been around,” Coronado coach Joe Sawaia said. “Look at them, there’s no jealousy of Victoria, they’re truly happy for each other.”

Estrada began the day in second place, one stroke behind Pate.

Playing with Pate and Haczkiewicz, Estrada pulled into a tie with Pate with a birdie on No. 1, and took the lead with another birdie on the third hole, while Pate put up a double bogey.

Haczkiewicz also started strong with birdies on the first and fourth holes to get back into contention, after starting the day five strokes behind.

“When I birdied the first hole, it gave me some reassuring confidence,” Estrada said. “Hunter and Annick are phenomenal players and I look up to them.”

Haczkiewicz, the Sunset Region champion, said she refocused after putting up a 79 in tough conditions in Monday’s first round.

“I just wanted to play my own game and score the lowest I could and not think about who else birdies or who is playing good,” Haczkiewicz said.

With a first-round 81, Lung started play Tuesday tied for eighth place, but she birdied four holes, including No. 4, where she double-bogeyed on Monday, to post the lowest round of the tournament and tie for second.

“Today was just all about the team and helping us increase the gap for the lead and help the team out any way I could,” Lung said.

Lung said finishing seventh last year and missing a medal by just a couple of strokes has been her motivation for the past year.

“All of our hard work paid off and coach led us in the right directions,” Lung said.

Sawaia predicted Monday, after his team’s highest score of the season, that the Cougars would score much better on Tuesday.

“Yesterday didn’t surprise me, and neither did today,” Sawaia said. “We have some talented seniors that are three-time state champions, and a couple of girls who have a chance to be four-time champions. That’s pretty special.”

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