The Manhattan High bowling teams had a solid home debut on Monday, with both the girls’ and boys’ teams taking first place out of four teams.
The boys won with a 2,724, running away with the competition and winning by 252 pins over second-place Emporia. Junction City took third with a 2,466, while Shawnee Heights rounded out the field in fourth with a 2,170.
Alex Huerta led the Indians with a 683 series. Alex Murph was right behind with a 663, while Gerad Vanhoosier rolled a 654. Smitt Thirakul (618), Eric Prokish (616) and Shon Eakes (587) rounded out the scoring.
“This was a school record team score for the boys today,” head coach Chris George said. “Fortunately we had great depth and everyone on the team contributed to the overall score.”
Thirakul ended up with the high game of the tournament, bowling a 257 in his final game. Murph was right behind with a 255 during the meet. Huerta also had a banner day for the Indians.
“Junior Alex Huerta was on pace for the individual school record held by Austin Boerger at 714, but had a tough spare in the ninth frame of his third game and just missed out on his opportunity,” George said. “I’m confident he will have plenty more shots at it.”
George said the improvement in the boys’ team stem from work with assistant coach Robert Regan, who owns Little Apple Lanes and works as a Rule-10 coach alongside George.
“Assistant coach Robert Regan is a key factor in the improvement of the boys,” George said. “He has been working real hard with them in the concept of pin action and the angle in which the ball enters the pocket. It has definitely paid off for many of the bowlers.”
On the girls’ side, Manhattan won with a 2,124, just edging second-place Shawnee Heights (2,119). Emporia finished in third with a 2,067, with Junction City finishing with a 2,042.
Individually, the Indians were led by junior Meghan Dooley who finished with high games of 219 and 210 and a 593 series. Krystin Winiecki had a 507, Katherine Eimer had a 496, Danielle Miller rolled a 491, Miranda Dooley shot a 452 and Andrea Miller scored a 448. Emporia’s Jordan Kiser won top honors with a 606 series.
George was especially pleased with his team scoring in a tight matchup with the Thunderbirds.
“This is the first time the Manhattan girls have ever beaten Shawnee Heights,” George said. “Meghan Dooley found her mark early and was consistent throughout the rest of the tournament.”
The Indians travel to Junction City on Thursday, then return to Manhattan to host their second tournament on Monday at 2 p.m.