Girls bowling: Barrington's O'Byrn fires 300 game
Barrington sophomore girls bowler Emily O'Byrn didn't think too much of the first 5 strikes she rolled Saturday in her fifth game at the Jacobs invitational held at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville.
"I didn't realize the first five that much," she said. "I didn't think anything of it. I was just going through the game and not paying attention to it."
Not much later the whole house was paying attention to O'Byrn, who ended up rolling a perfect 300 game, the first one of her career.
"When it got to the seventh (strike) I started to get excited," she said. "My teammates were telling me I was so close and, 'You got this,' but they still gave me my space. My coach (Dan Giesey) was great. He told me to stay in the game and block everything else out."
O'Byrn called her ninth strike "perfect."
"And then in the 10th I had two good ones."
Which brought her to the finale. "The last one was a little heavy on the head pin," O'Byrn said. "I was scared it wasn't going to be a strike. It turned out to be a strike."
O'Byrn said as she inched closer to the possibility of rolling a 300, more and more people started to migrate toward her lane as word spread.
"Everybody was crowded around the lane next to me," she said. "When it came to the last ball the whole alley went dead silent. It was crowded."
O'Byrn finished with a strong 1,224 series for six games and took third place individually at Jacobs. She helped the Fillies finish second in the field.
O'Byrn was on the Barrington junior-varsity team as a freshman and said she averaged around 140. Through hard work in the off-season and help of out-of-school coach Joann Mason-Briggs, working out of Bowlero in Deer Park, and Giesey, that average has spiked 40 pins to around 180 now, she added.
"My coaches have helped me so much to improve," she said. "It's been a big upgrade this season. I have improved so much because of all the help I have had."
O'Byrn's previous career high game was a 258, and her highest game in the Jacobs tournament prior to the 300 was a 216 right before the lunch break.
"I am so grateful coach (Giesey) was there with me," she said. "He was able to walk me through the whole thing. He helped keep me stay calm and helped me bowl the way I did. It was crazy. It got very loud, and everybody was clapping and cheering."