Harrington leads Whittell to title
STATELINE – An indecisive athletic career for Cody Harrington is ending with decisive results for the Whittell High senior.
Harrington’s latest stint with the golf team resulted in a career-best 79 Wednesday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, where he claimed medalist honors and helped lead the Warriors to another Northern 2A regional championship.
After helping lead Whittell’s golf team to zone titles as a freshman and sophomore, Harrington decided to play baseball last year, when he was a pitcher on the Warriors’ state runner-up squad. For his senior year, he switched back to golf.
“I’m definitely glad to be back,” said Harrington, whose round included birdies on Nos. 4 and 16. “I got a hard time from the golf guys when I went to baseball, and this year I got a hard time from the baseball guys when I went to golf. So I got it both ways.”
Whittell won its fifth zone title in the past six years and will be chasing its first state title since 2001 next week in West Wendover. Joining the Warriors at state from the north will be White Pine, which finished second with 476 strokes, and Hawthorne, which finished third at 496.
Wells finished fourth (519) and was followed by Jackpot (540) and Battle Mountain (609). Only the top three teams qualified for state.
Harrington was the only player to shoot in the 70s, but several of his teammates were instrumental in keeping Whittell’s regional supremacy intact. Kirk Baines shot an 87 to finish second overall, while Marty Rahbeck and Tyler Fairbank both shot 90 and tied for fourth.
White Pine’s Shade Gale placed third behind Harrington and Baines with an 88. Hawthorne’s Andrew Schumann tied with Rahbeck and Fairbank for fourth. Whittell senior Tim Lipovsky shot a 98 to round out the Warriors’ five qualifying scores.
“I was really happy with how Kirk Baines played today,” WHS coach Steve Maltase said. “Other than Kirk and Cody, I would say most of the other guys expected to have better days. Although there is an advantage to playing at our home course, I think the guys were a little nervous because, if we didn’t win today, we would’ve been disappointed.”
Whittell now looks ahead to state, where five-time state champion The Meadows and two-time state champion Needles will be waiting. Since the 2A was formed in 1998, Whittell is the only Northern Nevada school to win state. The Meadows has won the past four state titles.
The Warriors will need to improve on Wednesday’s team score if they hope to challenge the Mustangs. History suggests all the players are capable of doing that.
At last year’s state tournament at Genoa Lakes Golf Club, Lipovsky finished fifth overall and Fairbank, Baines and Rahbeck all placed in the top 28. In his last state tournament appearance, Harrington tied for 22nd as a sophomore in 2004. The Warriors have placed fifth in state the last two years.
“We’ve won zone five of the past six years, and the only year we didn’t win was last year without Cody,” Maltase said. “I’m definitely glad to have him back because we needed him last year. I supported his decision. I always support a kid’s decision.
“Our goal every year is to win zone and, of course, to win state. If all of our guys play to our potential, I think we have a chance.”
The 36-hole state tournament begins on Monday and ends on Tuesday.
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