The six-year state drought is over for the Carson High girls golf team.
The Carson Senators, led by individual champion Karen Beglin, finished second at the Northern 4A Regionals that concluded Tuesday afternoon at Eagle Valley-West.
As expected, Reno won with a 36-hole total of 704. The Senators, who trailed Bishop Manogue the entire Sierra League season, finished a whopping 38 strokes ahead of the Miners, who never recovered from a disastrous start Monday at Red Hawk.
The five individuals moving on from non-advancing teams are Reed’s Kaitlin Fleiner (153), Wooster’s duo of Jessica Stanton (162) and Lily Landt (171), McQueen’s Megan Gaskill (164) and Galena’s Megan Li (183).
The big story over the 36-hole event was the Senators, who usually finished second or third at the weekly tournament. It is Carson’s first trip to state since the 2011 golf season when Elayna Shine and Whitney Nash led the way.
Karen Beglin shot 152 (75-77), Jill Beglin (78-77) shot 155 to finish third overall. The biggest surprise, and maybe the key to advancing, was the play of Kassidy Cooley, who usually shot in the 120s during the season but put together a rounds of 106 on Monday and 105 on Tuesday. Valerie Wamsley shot a second straight 127. Gabby Montes had a 137 on Tuesday.
“No, I didn’t expect this,” Carson coach Wade Greenlee said. “I knew we’d be in contention because of the Beglins, but I never thought we’d make state. We were behind Manogue by an average of 23 strokes during the season. That is a lot of strokes to make up. Obviously we couldn’t have done it without Karen and Jill, but Kassidy coming in with a 106 and 105, and Valerie coming in at the same score (as Monday) was big.
“Rod (Butler, former Carson golf coach) came out and worked with (Kassidy). He is able to see things that I don’t. He is able to fix things and still allow her to play her game.”
Cooley’s game is great off the tee. She hits middle irons farther than most of her opponents hit drivers. Her short game, however is a work in progress. That is to be expected, however. She is using her dad’s clubs and is playing her first season of competitive golf.
“I thought I did OK,” she said. “I hit a couple of very bad shots. I made a lot of better decisions (the last two days).”
Karen Beglin, the first-round leader, admitted she had winning the individual title on her mind when she teed it up Tuesday. She recorded two birdies on Tuesday and had just one double-bogey, that coming on the par-3 13th when she hit her tee shot out of bounds.
“I do care (about winning),” she said. “I always come into a round wanting to win.”
The freshman admitted that she has a four-peat on her mind, and that’s to be expected. She has taken the Northern Nevada golf scene by storm this year, and she should only get better as she matures and gets stronger physically.
The younger Beglin admitted that she is excited about the state tournament at Highland Falls in Summerlin.
“I played the course once, and I liked it,” she said.
Jill Beglin had a solid second day, recording 13 pars and five bogeys. She didn’t have a lot to say about her round.
“I started out better than I finished,” she said.