The Clinton River Kings and Queens had two individuals qualify for the state bowling tournament next week at the Plaza Bowl on Tuesday, but the day was made even sweeter when the girls team grabbed the at-large bid.
“Both teams bowled really good today, they all stepped up,” Clinton bowling coach Mark Richardson said.
Clinton knew as soon as the substate meet was over that at least two would be headed to Waterloo. Amanda Kurtz finished with a 428 over two games, which is well above her average. That scored punched her ticket.
“It felt really good,” Kurtz said. Kurtz averages in the 160s and she bowled a 201 in the first game and a 227 in the second. “It was mostly the atmosphere and your teammates helping you.”
It was a loud atmosphere at the Plaza and that helped give the bowlers some momentum.
“It was really fun because everyone got into is,” freshman bowler Jazlyn Whitaker said. “I was just hoping to get my average and I shot better than that.”
Carter Hudson bowled a 461 for his two individual games, giving him a 28 point advantage over the next finished and a state berth.
“I was hoping I was going to make it,” Hudson said. “I was trying really hard not to think about it so I wouldn’t bowl bad.”
The girls bowled 2,800 as a team and finished just 22 pins behind Western Dubuque. The first time they bowled against the Bobcats the River Queens finished almost 250 pins behind them.
“I kind of told them that if they just stayed close with them during this qualifying meet they could probably get that at-large spot,” Richardson said. “That’s what they did, they hung right with them.”
Their score nearly 200 pins better than the teams’ average, and Coach Richardson says it’s better than a Clinton girls team has bowled in years.
“They were having a good time. That’s what I tell them, you have to have fun out there,” Richardson said. “If you have fun, you’re going to bowl better.”
It was exciting when they found out that they qualified for state with the at-large bid.
“We bowled really good and I don’t really know how to describe it,” Kurtz said. “We all bowled our best and helped each other through the entire day. We didn’t get to go to state last year so if we go this year it will be really fun and cool.”
For Kurtz, it was a bit of a relief to know the River Queens were coming to Waterloo with her.
“There’ll be more support and I’ll feel more secure with my teammates with me,” Kurtz said.
The boys finished just 26 pins behind Western Dubuque, and missed an at-large bid by just six pins.
“We bowled pretty solid through our two games, but I wish our baker rounds would have been better,” sophomore bowler Stephen Corbin said. “Sometimes everyone is just not on their game and when the lanes start to dry up it starts to affect us.”
“They could have picked up on those rounds a little better,” Richardson said. “But really, anywhere through the whole meet they could have picked up those six pins real easy.”
Being that close to state hurt, but also gives the team some motivation for next year.
“I’m excited to be going, but I wish my team was going,” Hudson said. “It would feel better with my team, more support.”