By Garrett Estrada

Ely Times Staff Writer

Chris Young has always been in the shadow of other golfers for White Pine High School. Despite being considered a serious contender for an individual state championship this year by his coach Randy Long, Young had never been able to beat the top guys on the team at a meet.

That all changed this past weekend when Young led his team to a first place finish at Wendover.

“It felt good to win,” Young said.  “For the last two years I’ve always been behind Ty or Nick. Whenever I would beat one, the other one would beat me.”

Shooting a 73 on a cold and windy day, Young beat regular team leader and other state contender Ty Pickell by one stroke. According to Young, the two  always push each other to get better on the course. But he didn’t mind finally beating him on the scorecard.

“I play to beat him,” Young said.

Long said at the beginning of the season that Young and Pickell were going to be his top two golfers this year and their competiveness makes each other, and the team as a result, better.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” Long said on Young’s win. “It’s been coming. He works hard at it. I told them all last year to be patient and it will happen. He is a state contender just as much as Ty is.”

The White Pine High golf team walked away from the meet thinking they had actually placed second. Having shot a few more strokes than Elko, Long said it wasn’t until the trip home that he found out his squad actually won due to a disqualification of a player on the Elko’s team.

“We backhanded a win,” Long said.

Nick Johnson and Tyler Kane shot 95 and 99 respectively. According to Long, the two freshmen that qualified for the last two starting spots, Justin Kirchner and Colton Roley, “struggled” on the difficult course with scores of 120 and 147. The team shot a collective 461, higher than their first meet, though Long said he suspects the tough course and weather conditions skewed the number higher than their play reflected.

White Pine High School’s Principal and Chris Young’s father, Adam Young, will take the team to their next meet in Wells since Long has business to attend to for the golf course.