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Mestas wins on windy day

DHS girls’ golf takes first, second as team in Farmington
Zayda Mestas of Durango High School, pictured recently in Cortez, won Farmington High School’s Spring Tri Meet on Tuesday at the Piñon Hills Golf Course. (Cody Olivas/Durango Herald)

The Piñon Hills Golf Course in Farmington is tough on a good day. Throw in a steady wind blowing 20-25 miles per hour, and it gets really challenging.

“Piñon is one of the toughest courses anywhere,” said DHS head coach Kirk Rawles, comparing it to a double-black diamond ski run. “Its slope rating is the highest of any in the area.”

Senior Zayda Mestas, however, still played solid for DHS and ended up winning the Farmington High School Girls Spring Tri Meet with an 86. Mestas tied with Annie Yost of Piedra Vista, but Mestas won the score card tiebreaker since she had the better score on the course’s toughest hole.

“Annie is such an exceptional player, she’s been head and shoulders above the field,” Rawles said. “This a big breakthrough for Zayda and a huge confidence boost.”

Yost placed fifth at last year’s New Mexico Class 5A state golf championship, and this season has won regional tournaments in Durango, Cortez and at the San Juan Country Club on Monday.

Mestas birdied the first hole and had seven pars after that. The key to her win was staying consistent and avoiding blowup holes. Mestas only had one triple bogey and two double bogeys on the day.

Natasha Walcott of Durango High School lines up a drive at the Piñon Hills Golf Course in Farmington on Tuesday. (Courtesy of Kirk Rawles)

“For the most part, she had really solid play (Tuesday),” Rawles said. “Some holes are over 500 yards long, but when you play into the wind it’s like your playing a 650-yard hole. Even a double bogey on a hole like that is good.”

Sophomore Ellie White shot a 92 to finish fifth for DHS. Freshman Jayden Craig shot a 98 to place sixth and senior Eliza Bosmans shot a 101 to finish ninth and round out Durango’s team score. In New Mexico, four golfers’ scores count toward the team total, opposed to just three in Colorado.

Senior Natasha Walcott (106) and sophomores Raimee Brant (113) and Myla Glaser (127) also competed for the Demons.

Durango ended up finishing second as a team at Piñon Hills with a 377, behind Piedra Vista (365) and ahead of Montezuma-Cortez (424).

On Monday, however, Durango squared off with the same teams at Piedra Vista’s Spring Panther Invite, held at the San Juan Country Club, and ended up winning the tournament by a single stroke.

DHS shot a 363 to win the team title, followed by Piedra Vista (364) and Cortez (397). Farmington also participated, but didn’t have enough golfers to record a team score.

“Piedra Vista is one of the best programs around,” Rawles said. “It’s good to have that good of a team to play against; it’s a good barometer to get ready for regionals and state.”

Three Demons finished in the top five individually on Monday while the team’s sixth golfer finished ahead of Piedra Vista’s third golfer.

Mestas shot an 85 to place second and lead the Demons. Walcott placed fourth an 89, White finished fifth with a 92 while Craig shot a 97 to round out Durango’s team score. Bosmans (98), Brant (98) sophomore Avery Rike (104) and Glaser (118) also competed for DHS.

“I’m really proud of all of them,” Rawles said. “I thought they battled pretty good for both days.”

Next, Durango will compete at the Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction on Monday, which is the same course DHS will play on in the regional championships.

“We’re just starting to get our mileage going, now we can work on the finer details as far as scoring goes,” Rawles said.