SALINA — McPherson High bowling coach Herb Halinski often says the hardest part about state is getting there.
Consider the hardest part over.
The Bullpups, for the first time in school history, will be taking both the boys and girls to state after a sensational performance Thursday in the Class 5-1A Regional at All-Star Lanes.
“Everybody on the team contributed today. If somebody was down, another person stepped it up for the team,” Halinski said. “I am so proud of each and every one of them. Everybody was loose all day and supporting each other on every shot. The younger players really stepped it up on a big stage. This was the first year since the program started that both teams qualified for state. We have had the boys or girls teams qualify, but not both. The kids are really excited. All of the spare practice has paid off and they understand now why we practice spares all the time.”
The Bullpup girls came away as champions with a sizzling 2,486, easily finishing ahead of Wichita Heights.
The Bullpups’ Crystal Nutter showed that she will again be a top contender as she was second with a 648, with all three games 200 or better.
Jasmine Wann was right behind with a 623, capped by her 236 third game. Makenzie Benson turned in a strong 588, sparked by a 214 first game, and Alexis Kieffer was perhaps the surprise of the day by taking seventh with 587.
Becca King of Wichita Heights was the champion and had the highlight of the day with a 300 game, part of her amazing 778 series.
The Bullpup boys shot a 2,658 to finish just behind Sacred Heart, which had a 2,685 on its home lanes. The Knights amazingly have only four bowlers, which is the bare minimum permitted.
MHS’ Jeff Reed had blistering games of 257 and 256 on his way to a 693, good for third. Joel Morey’s 269 first game was part of his 663 series, which was seventh.
Sacred Heart’s Ryan Franzen was medalist with a 772.
MHS will compete next Friday at Wichita’s Northrock Lanes. The boys bowl at 9:30 a.m. and the girls at 2 p.m.
Crystal Nutter, 200-216-232 — 648; Jasmine Wann, 213-174-236 — 623; Makenzie Benson, 214-183-191 — 588; Alexis Kieffer, 202-206-179 — 587; Rhianna Smith, 177-133-210- — 520; Mayce Nightingale, 139-183-172 — 494.
Jeff Reed, 180-257-256 — 693; Joel Morey, 269-210-184 — 663; Carl Frazier, 248-173-218 — 639; Austin Mitchell, 218-173-199 — 590; Jacob Helmer, 190-185-200 — 575; Brett Hartzell, 161-193-214 — 568.