That Blue Train rolled all the way to its first Class 4A district title.
Whenever members of the Rogers girls bowling team record a strike, the team erupts.
“Can’t stop that Blue Train! Whoo, whoo! Whoo, whoo!”
That was bellowed often Saturday at the West Central District 3/NW District 1 tournament at Pacific Lanes, especially when freshman Kristina Harris bowled. Rogers secured the district title with 3,147 total pins, narrowly defeating Thomas Jefferson (3,128) and earning its first trip as a team to the state tournament since 2011 when they finished in second place.
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The four teams that advanced to next weekend’s state tournament at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place were Rogers, Thomas Jefferson, Curtis and Spanaway Lake. South Kitsap, Emerald Ridge, Bethel, Timberline, Yelm and Jackson missed the cut.
“It’s just a huge honor for us,” Rams coach Justin Wisness said. “It’s an honor to be among these teams and be considered the top.”
Harris finished second individually with 626 total pins as Spanaway Lake’s Carolina Snowden earned the individual title with 656 pins.
Harris has been bowling in leagues since she was about 7 years old, but said this is the best group she’s ever bowled with.
“We were kind of seen as the underdogs,” Harris said. “We wanted to come out and show them that we can win and that we’re a good team.”
Rogers didn’t even finish in the top four in the 4A South Puget Sound League, finishing behind Bethel, Graham-Kapowsin, Thomas Jefferson and Curtis.
And the Rams were without their third-best bowler, Alyssa Feller, who was out with a concussion. Her teammates had her on a video chat so she could still pose for photos.
The top eight individuals whose teams didn’t qualify for state still qualified for state individually, including Emerald Ridge’s Amy Hanson, who had 607 total pins.
Rogers held a four-pin lead on Curtis entering the four rounds of Baker games — where each team of five bowlers throw two frames. Thomas Jefferson jumped from fourth to second with a score of 691, but Rogers held on for the title.
Can the Rams keep their Blue Train rolling at state?
“Oh, it’s going to happen,” Harris said. “We are going to go give it our all.”
WILSON TEAM TO STATE
No Wilson bowler finished better than ninth individually in the 3A/2A tournament.
But it doesn’t take a good bowler to compete for a team title. Just a good team.
The Rams placed second behind Klahowya, with Central Kitsap finishing third and North Mason fourth to round out the teams that qualified for state.
“We had a number of girls in the 140-150 (scoring) range and they are all really good at picking up the spares,” Wilson coach Ken Richardson said. “We focus so much on the spare game because that’s what really wins you the tournaments.”
It was a packed house at Pacific Lanes with Franklin Pierce, Washington and Steilacoom being represented for the first time with newly formed teams.
West Central District 3 director Shelly Thiel said they plan on splitting the sites for the 4A and 3A/2A district tournaments next year because of how crowded it has become.
Richardson has noticed the crowds, too.
“I started 13 years ago when not even half the place was filled,” Richardson said.
North Mason’s Shaniya Brannon won the 3A/2A title with a 632 total, Olympic’s Ashlyn Jamrog (578) was second and North Thurston’s Larissa Sharwark (564) was third at 564.