The Twin Falls High School golf teams regained their state supremacy, and they gave their coach the perfect sendoff.
The Bruins left StoneRidge Golf Club on Tuesday with three first-place trophies. The boys and girls teams captured both of the 4A state tournament team titles, and senior Tayllore Ward was the girls medalist.
“Our girls played the best two rounds they’ve played all year long,” Twin Falls head coach Steve Meyerhoeffer said over the phone. “Our boys were very disappointed with how they finished last year. … They wanted to finish their careers on top.”
Those impending departures contributed to Steve Meyerhoeffer’s decision to call it quits, but they weren’t the main factors, he said.
“It’s kinda run its course,” he said. “I’m just ready to do other things in the spring.”
He couldn’t have imagined a much better way to end his seven-year Twin Falls career.
The Bruins obliterated the girls field with a final score of 652, 109 strokes ahead of second-place Middleton. The boys race was much closer, with Twin Falls edging Bishop Kelly 606-607.
Ward shot a 1-over 72 on Monday and a 74 on Tuesday, finishing three strokes ahead of Moscow’s Makenna Rauch for first place.
“It’s probably the best memory from high school,” said Ward, who recently signed with Dixie State University.
Ward said both rounds this week were the best she’s posted in a tournament. Not just a state tournament, any tournament. Her previous tournament-best was 75, she said, and her top mark at state before Monday was 79.
Ward, finished seventh at state as a freshman, second as a sophomore and fourth last year. Those close state tournament finishes were frustrating but not discouraging. This week, she said, her putting was strong and her driving was accurate.
“I knew I was close, I just had to put the pieces together,” she said. “I just focused on keeping it in play and staying calm, even if I had a bad hole.”
Twin Falls’ Daniel Gaspar (73-72) finished third and Drew Meyerhoeffer (73-74) placed fourth among boys individuals. Minico’s Peyton Orr (73-77) was fifth, Wood River’s Johnny Radford (79-73) was eighth and Jerome’s Alex Dilucca (75-78) was ninth.
After Ward, three other Bruins finished in the top 10 among girls individuals. Brinlee Stotts (82-80) was third, Kaylee Jones (85-85) was fifth and Morgan Harr (87-87) was eighth.
Twin Falls won the boys and girls titles in 2016, but the girls were second and the boys were third last spring in Idaho Falls. In Steve Meyerhoeffer’s seven seasons, that was the only time the boys didn’t finish first at state. This week’s girls title was their second under his watch.
“I’ve enjoyed this,” Meyerhoeffer said. “I had an opportunity to win eight state championships since 2012. That’s been a nice run, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”