Although junior Alea Fuqua-Millington and senior Lindsay Arnold bowled well above their season averages when they represented the Whetstone High School girls bowling team in the Division I district tournament, neither qualified for the state tournament Friday, March 8, at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Fuqua-Millington rolled a 538 (178-172-188) series at district March 2 at HP Lanes to tie for 15th of 104 competitors and Arnold placed 38th with a 472 (137-146-189).
The top three individuals not on one of the three state-qualifying teams advanced to state.
Fuqua-Millington averaged a team-best 157.6 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference, which would project to a 473 three-game series. Arnold had a 140.1 average in league action, which would project to a 420.3 series.
"For Lindsay to put it together and finish her career with a 189 game at district was really a good way for her to go out," said boys coach Chris Lisi, who guided the girls at district for coach Larry Howell. "It also was a very good and promising finish for Alea because she should come back hungry to get over the bubble next year."
Delaware's Kelsey Rohrer (580) earned the final individual state-qualifying berth.
It was a little rougher for the boys team's district representatives. Senior Nathan Vokac was scratched with a wrist injury and freshman Josh Jones finished 81st of 106 competitors with a 425 (165-147-113).
Jones had a 164.5 average in COHSBC action, which equates to a 493.5 series. He posted a 568 series at sectional Feb. 23 at HP Lanes to reach district.
Vokac had a 166.9 league average and rolled a 564 at sectional.
"Nathan couldn't practice without pain (last week) and we tried three days, so we finally had to scratch him," Lisi said. "That's tough as a senior. He wrestled through the pain at sectional, but it kept getting worse on him and the only thing that was going to help was resting it.
"Josh struggled, but he was laughing about it at the end and was already saying he can't wait to get back here next year. He's got three more chances."
The boys team just missed advancing to district, as it totaled 3,611 pins at sectional to finish 33 shy of the final district spot earned by Olentangy Orange (3,644). Sophomore Josh Longar also just missed qualifying as an individual to district, finishing 13 pins shy with a 545.
The Braves are losing four seniors in Vokac, Kasson Gore, Will Stevens and Victor Waitkus. In addition, Lisi is stepping down as coach.
"I've taught in Columbus (City) Schools for 32 years and have been the coach here for the past five seasons," said Lisi, who also will be stepping down as a teacher at the end of the school year. "There were 14 boys in the program this year and we just missed district, so I feel like I'm leaving the program in good shape. I think we've made it into something special."
The girls team is losing five seniors in Arnold, Noa Leslie, Eve McCarter, Carrie Mullins and Allison Weeks. In addition to Fuqua-Millington, expected to return is sophomore Jillian Clark.
"If the girls don't pick up numbers, they might compete on the boys team in the regular season next year," Lisi said. "But we'll see how things turn out."