Girls bowling: Antioch, Wauconda's McKeel are regional champs
Jasmine McKeel of Wauconda picked up her first individual regional championship and she wasn't the only one that qualified for the Zion-Benton girls bowling sectional next Saturday at Sunset Lanes in Waukegan.
Melissa Calleros became the first girls bowler to advance from Mundelein and Aubrey Kittle of Lakes bowled through her emotions to advance.
Antioch won its own regional for a second straight year with a team total of 5,446 over 6 games bowled at Antioch Lanes in Antioch on Saturday. The other three teams that qualified were Round Lake (5,262), Libertyville (5,198) and Wauconda (5,170).
McKeel over her 6 games had a 1,289. She had 632 over the first three with games of 201, 226 and 205. Then she followed up with a 246, 198 and 213 for a 657.
"It means a lot to take first place," McKeel said. "I haven't been getting carry and it's been a bit frustrating the last couple of weeks. So it was nice to get carry, bowl well and the team to bowl well too. I think things come with experience now in my senior year. My freshman year was pretty hard not score watching and trying to mirror my competitors. This year, I'm going to bowl my game and they will bowl theirs. I'm just going to control what I can control and focus on my own games. I haven't medaled in a regional before. This is a confidence booster going into next week."
Lakes' Kittle qualified as individual with 1,165, but she was dealing with her emotions after she lost her grandfather on Thursday and still finished strong with a couple games over 200.
"I lost my grandpa and it's tough," Kittle said. "I was just going through trying to make him proud and every shot was for him no matter how good or bad it was. It was for him no matter what. The last ball I threw was for him, I got really emotional and started crying. No matter what, he would be always watching me when I go on to sectionals. I did shoot a 238 in my last game, I needed a big game, I tried my best and it was for him."
The others that advanced were Brianna Haith of Warren (1,186), Zion-Benton's Madison MacDonald (1,135), Maddison Knuth of Grant (1,115), Waukegan's Anna Ziebell (1,084), Sydney Swiercz of Grayslake North (1,071), Grayslake Central's Grace Serres (1,040) Calleros and Waukegan's Aubri Jackson each with 1,034.
"Honestly, this is surreal," Calleros said. "I've been bowling for four years. My team helped me a lot an it feels like a dream."
Antioch was able to take the top spot, but it had to finish strong over the last three games to finish first. The Sequoits were battling through some illness and found a way into the top spot.
"We had some girls that were sick and they got through it," Antioch coach Phil Linberg said. "They came through when they needed to. When we were down, I was like let's work slow at it. Don't go sky high and go at a little bit at a time, which we did. Finally, we got 70 pins ahead going into the last game. They then got confident and they had to keep up with it. Then we were fine and we were good. Next step is sectionals."
Antioch was led by Alyssa Olson (1,253), Alyssa Tanner (1,143), Lynn Michalec (1,141), Allison Kane (1,066), Ashley Lubkemann (566) and Maya Schon (266).
Round Lake's bowlers were Crystal Garcia (1,187), Michele Lauritzen (1,094), Stephanie Leon (1,009), Alexia Brown (990) and Ariadna Ortega (982).
Libertyville's leader was Kristine Kropp (1,118), while the others were Mabelle Kosowski (1,060), Jane Kosowski (1,037), Evelyn Tarman (1,005), Quincy Delude (853) and Sarah Kenzer (129).
Wauconda's top bowler was McKeel, the others included Kala Issleb (1,108), Elizabeth Suchor (1,025), Emilee Harris (896) and Angelica Cho (852).