UNIVERSITY PLACE — With each strike, spare – even unlucky split – the Timberline High School girls’ bowling team cheered the action.
Even at the most important tournament of the season, the WIAA state girls’ championships at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place, the Blazers aren’t taking themselves too seriously.
As a result, they are seriously in the middle of the Class 3A/2A team title hunt.
Consistent, but not flashy, Timberline nearly kept pace with defending state champion Mark Morris after the first day of the tournament Friday.
After six games, the Monarchs lead with 5,171 pins. Right behind them are the Blazers, the West Central District champions at 5,132.
Mark Morris’ Janaye Kilgore won the individual title going away. She totaled 1,295 pins – nearly a 216 average – to pull away from North Thurston’s Cortnie Brathovd (1,211), Olympic’s Kendra Willis (1,199) and defending champion Karissa Shiflet, of Kennewick (1,183).
In 4A, defending champion Battle Ground is in firm control. The Tigers had an astounding 5,493 pins – well ahead of Cascade of Everett (4,923). South Puget Sound League and WCD winner Curtis is fifth at 4,693.
And Southwest Washington bowlers made it three 4A champions in a row. Skyview’s Madison Crockett recorded the top score for either classification – a 1,324.
Play resumes at 8 a.m. today with 14 Baker format games to decide the state team championships.
As contenders for the first time, the Blazers are in a good spot – especially considering the pins were not falling their way. Good shots in the pocket brought their share of unfortunate splits, leading to open frames.
“What I liked, they were struggling a bit – there were too many splits – but they are keeping their heads in the game,” Timberline coach John Wilson said. “I just feel really good about their mental state.”
Stress-free, and kind of loosey goosey.
Their best individual finisher was Bernadine Dale, who placed 14th with 1,092. But she was tops in finding stay-warm apparel – strolling around the bowling alley in fluffy slippers.
“They are comfortable and cute,” Dale said. “When you wake up at 5 in the morning, you want to just throw (clothes) on.”
Other top local finishers were Black Hills Ashley Aarts in ninth place (1,108), and Timberline’s Brooke Collins in 16th (1,069) and Sydney Robertson in 20th (1,050).Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org