Comet boys and girls advance to State Bowling Championships

Press photo by John Burbridge Bowlers and coaches from the Charles City Comets boys and girls bowling teams gather for a group photo after both squads qualified to the State Bowling Championships after winning the Class 1A Joint Qualifying Tournament, Wednesday at Cadillac Lanes.
Press photo by John Burbridge
Bowlers and coaches from the Charles City Comets boys and girls bowling teams gather for a group photo after both squads qualified to the State Bowling Championships after winning the Class 1A Joint Qualifying Tournament, Wednesday at Cadillac Lanes.
By John Burbridge sports@charlescitypress.com

WATERLOO — League bowlers know this all too well— some teams and/or individuals bowl at a quick pace; others are far more deliberate.

The Columbus Catholic boys bowling team represents the latter.

The Sailors are excellent spare shooters with several crew members having mastered the two-handed release that’s being seen more on the PBA Tour these days. During Wednesday’s Class 1A Joint Qualifying Bowling Tournament at Cadillac Lanes, the Sailors were leading the field and up more than 100 pins against nearest competitor Charles City going into the Baker Rotation round.

Press photo by John Burbridge Charles City freshman Cael Bohlen, left, and Charles City senior Madison Ross were the boys and girls individual champs at the Class 1A Joint Qualifying Bowling Tournament.
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City freshman Cael Bohlen, left, and Charles City senior Madison Ross were the boys and girls individual champs at the Class 1A Joint Qualifying Bowling Tournament.

“But we’ve been in that position before several times this year,” Charles City head coach Doug Bohlen said. “So it was nothing new.”

Unlike the Sailors — who were last to finish their games for both the two-game series and Baker rounds — the Comets work at a more uptempo beat. And that may have been the difference at the end.

Charles City was quick to seize the momentum in the second game of the Baker round, finishing with seven strikes in a row with junior Cade Schmidt striking out in the 10th to cap a 257 game. Columbus Catholic, meanwhile, struggled to get a rhythm going during Bakers while rolling a 129 in the third game.

As a result, the Comets managed to pass the Sailors by 40 pins to win the state qualifier with a team score of 2,985.

“It may take a game or two, but we usually bowl well in the Baker round,” Bohlen said. “We bowl better on dry conditions, and by the end of the day a lot of oil has been moved to the side.”

And there are also the intangibles.

Charles City has a tradition of getting fired up during the Baker Rotation. And when the Comets begin to string strikes, the repeated cheers tend to get louder as the run progresses.

These cheers were also well within earshot of the Sailors and their fans six lanes down and seemed to invoke a pall of dread.

The Comet girls also punched their ticket to state with a 2,581 team score.

Unlike their boy counterparts, the Comets girls were comfortably ahead going in the Baker Rotation.

“But you still got to keep on bowling,” Charles City assistant coach Tyler Mitchell said. “A lot of strange things have happened in this sport.”

Probably the least strange thing that happened at Cadillac Lanes was Charles City senior Madison Ross rolling yet another 400-plus two-game series. Her 419 mark at the qualifier — actually below her 215 average — earned her the girls individual title.

Charles City freshman Cael Bohlen, grandson of the head coach, led all bowlers with a 462 series for the boys title. Bohlen has been steadily improving throughout the season to where now his average is above 200.

Other top scorers for Charles City were Nicholas Roney (423) and Noah Reams (401) for the boys; and Joslyn Cotton (401) for the girls — Cotton helped get the girls off to a good start with a 258 in the first game, the highest among all girl competitors.

The Comets will return to Cadillac Lanes for the State Bowling Championships starting at 10 a.m. Monday (Feb. 18). Last year at the same site, both teams finished runner-up in Class 1A.

Class 1A Joint Qualifying Tournament

Feb. 14

AT CADILLAC LANES

Boys Champions

CHARLES CITY (2,985) — Nathan Schultz 204, 167-371; Cade Schmidt 180, 185-365; Noah Reams 193, 208-401; Cael Bohlen 215, 247-462; Nicholas Roney 195, 228-423; Nathan Girkin 133, 168-301. BAKER ROTATION: 189, 256, 170, 184, 164.

Girls Champions

CHARLES CITY (2,581) — Madison Ross 208, 211-419; Sarah Mitchell 128, 163-291; Joslyn Cotton 258, 153-401; Abby Hillegas 180, 164-344; Jadyn Hegvedt 160, 157-317; Brianna Ross 153, 163-315. BAKER ROTATION: 146, 166, 152, 163, 147.

Individual Champions

Cael Bohlen (462), Madison Ross (419)

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