What began with unbridled hope and optimism has now turned into a state title for the Waukee girls’ bowling team after they bested the entire Class 3A field Thursday afternoon.
Held at Cadillac XBC in Waterloo Iowa, the Warriors posted a state tournament best team score of 2,855. It was a collectively stellar effort by the Warriors entering as an at large bid, one of a handful of teams throughout history who have claimed a state title in that position. It was an overall performance that impressed Warrior head coach Christopher Roberts.
“I knew these girls were capable of pulling off a state win but it was still quite the spectacle to see with how they bowled,” began Roberts. “Everybody knew they stage they were on but kept calm and focused on being consistant, something we’ve been working on all season long. It may not have been the highest score they’ve bowled all season but it may well be their best overall performance of the season.”
Individually, the Warriors posted four bowlers who earned top 12 scores. Senior Star Maddie Peterson produced Waukee’s top score and fifth best individual score at state with a mark of 404 for her series score. Freshman Morgan Marean was next up for Waukee with a series score of 403, good enough for an individual sixth place tie. That score was helped out by a game one score of 213, the fifth best game one score out of nearly sixty total bowlers. Senior Bri Hulgan brought home an eight place individual finish of 395 for her series score. Along the way, Hulgan earned Waukee’s top game one score of 240 which also happened to lead all individual bowlers across the entire state meet landscape. It marked one of her highest career single game scores and the highest game one mark of the 2018-19 season. It was a significant accomplishment for the senior but in the end, it wasn’t a surprise for coach Christopher Roberts.
“Bri was doing everything right especially in that first game,” began Roberts. “She was near perfect until the very end so she showed great consistency in her technique and kept her composure well. She conducted herself like a state champion and it was extremely fun to watch her bowl today.”
Hulgan is one of four seniors on the varsity roster and helped to highlight how crucial they elder group has been to Waukee girls bowling with performances that not only impact this season, but echo throughout the entire history of Waukee bowling.
“These girls helped to accomlish the biggest outcome to Waukee girls’ bowling ever,” started Roberts. “They helped to give this program it’s first state title and that’s counting the days when bowling at Waukee was just a club sport and not a school sponsored one. These girls embody level headed bowling. They don’t let the highs affect them and they don’t let the lows affect them, that’s been perhaps their biggest collective attribute. They never really get rattled and that’s something that goes so much further than their performances because they set the ultimate example for the younger bowlers on how to conduct themselves in really intense situations. They’ve been absolute true leaders to this team over the last four years and it’s been great to see how drastically they’ve improved from their first days freshman year. They’re also great people along with being great bowlers.”
Fellow senior Halie Marean rounded out Waukee’s top 12 and held a top ten game two score of 199 en route to obtaining a state tournament 12th best series score of 391. The rest of the Waukee scores included Laren Daley with a series score of 367 while Kiara Briggs totaled a mark of 338. Something coach Roberts has preached this season has been the use of Baker scores which came in handy big time at state. Waukee’s initial raw score held a mark of 1,960 which would have set them squarely second place but their Baker mark of 895 gave them the boost that they needed to claim the program’s first ever state title.