By Jim Rueda firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mankato Free Press
---- — Snow and rain from the never-ending winter has left many high school student athletes hanging their heads in dismay, but that’s not the case for every spring sports team.
Over at the Wow Zone, the adapted bowling teams from Mankato East and Mankato West are thriving.
“We haven’t lost a single meet to the weather this year,” East coach Linda Felsheim said. “It’s been nice and dry inside the Wow Zone.”
The second of two annual East-West meetings unfolded Tuesday afternoon, and it was a lively, entertaining matchup.
“It’s fun,” said East freshman Ryne Miller. “I like talking to my friends from West.”
The adapted bowling program has been around at East and West for about 10 years. The current coaches — East’s Felsheim and West’s Becca Schramm — have been running their respective teams for two years.
“I knew when I took this job it was going to be fun, but it turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected,” Felsheim said. “The (bowlers) really get excited. They have a good time.”
Most of Mankato’s adapted bowling matches are not held face-to-face. During a meet, the schools bowl at their own hometown lanes and then the final scores are compared to determine a winner.
The exception to that format is the annual match against St. Peter and the East-West duals. The state meet next month in Brooklyn Park is also a live, head-to-head matchup.
“It’s more exciting when your opponent is in the lanes next to yours,” Felsheim said. “They really get fired up when it’s East vs. West.”
West junior Jasmine Green, who is in her second year in the program, said she returned this season because she discovered that she really likes bowling. When asked what she liked most about it, she replied with a one-word answer — “strikes.”
East, which won the earlier meeting between the two Mankato schools, made it a clean sweep on Tuesday. The Cougars defeated their crosstown rivals in the two-game series 1,585-1,532.
Amanda Smith had the top score for East, rolling a 418. She was followed by Jessica Neumann (395), Miller (389) and Kayley Friedricks (383).
West was led by Isaiah Becker’s 394 and Lizzy Ambrose was right behind with a 393. The Scarlets’ Green rolled a 388 and Nythainlle Bachmeyer finished with a 357.
Devin Johnson was East’s top boys singles winner with a score of 364. The Cougars’ top girls singles winner was Shynia Mitchell with a 373.
For West, Becker and Ambrose were the winners in singles play.
“It’s fun to bowl against East,” Green reiterated. “You always try to win.”