‘Not done yet’

Bobcat boys bowlers qualify for state meet

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • The Marshalltown boys bowling team poses with their state qualifier banner after winning its district meet in Marshalltown on Tuesday. Pictured are, from left, Kamrin Chizek, Jonathan McKeever, Joshua Arment, Ray Wiegand, Richie Thomas and Lucas Kramer.

It was almost a business-like atmosphere at Wayward Social for the Class 3A District 5 joint state qualifying bowling meet on Tuesday, as the Marshalltown boys bowling team came with one goal in mind.

Make it to yet another state meet.

The Bobcats showed a great deal of focus as they went to work on the lanes, none greater than junior Ray Wiegand, who continued his postseason success on the day.

After throwing a season-best 524 at the CIML Iowa Conference Meet last week, Wiegand improved yet again on Tuesday, shooting a blistering 569 to tie a Marshalltown school record. The Bobcats showed strong as a team as well, qualifying with a total of 3,372 pins.

Wiegand finished as the individual champion for the district, and once the scores from around the state came in it was proven that his score was the top individual mark thrown in any district, and the team’s score was the best among any of the districts.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

After receiving his individual medal and the team medals for winning, Wiegand said he’s been able to bowl so well lately because he finally feels comfortable on the lanes.

“I kind of put a lot of pressure on myself at the beginning of the season and coming into the postseason I was looking to take all of that pressure off and just throw the ball, and that’s worked pretty well,” Wiegand said. “Back to back meets I’ve thrown a 500, and I tied the school record tonight so that’s really cool too. I am just having a lot of fun with the guys, we are gelling well together.”

While Wiegand was ripping up the lanes, his teammates were following right behind him, as Marshalltown finished with four of the top-5 scores on the individual side. Kamrin Chizek placed second with his score of 488 — a score that also qualified him individually as an at-large bid — while Jonathan McKeever and Joshua Arment placed fourth and fifth with a 434 and 427 respectively. Richie Thomas and Lucas Kramer rounded out the MHS scoring with a 369 and 338 respectively.

Bobcats head coach Roger Taylor Sr. said what his guys showed best on Tuesday was an ability to pick each other up even when guys like Thomas and Kramer weren’t having great days.

“I couldn’t be happier for the guys, Lucas struggled a little bit but Ray picked him up,” he said. “Richie struggled and Jonathan picked him up, same with in the first game as Josh was down and Kamrin picked him up so the team is such a team that I couldn’t be happier.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Taylor Sr. said Wiegand specifically has been on a tear of late, and him excelling at the top makes the whole team better.

“Ray bowled extremely well, he hadn’t shot a 500 all season and last week he shot 524 and this week he shot 569, so the guy is ready,” Taylor Sr. said. “He has been practicing a lot, he has some new bowling balls and some new grips and he is just really in tune with what’s going on right now, and that makes us even stronger.”

Even in the Baker games, the Bobcats excelled, as they only had one of five games below a 200, and that was largely due to the guys focusing on the girls team making their push for a state qualification.

Wiegand said this was one of the best days of team bowling Marshalltown has had all season, which obviously bodes well for next Wednesday’s state meet at Cadillac Lanes in Waterloo.

” I think today we gelled pretty well together, we had a couple of guys that needed to make some moves and we figured it out,” he said. “Everybody listened well today, in the Bakers we just need to keep having fun and keep the 220s on rolling.”

As for having three other Bobcats join him in the top-5, Wiegand said he couldn’t ask for anything better.

“It feels awesome to have four guys in the top five today and it feels great to be throwing the ball well again,” he said. “That really feels good, and I just like that our team is doing so well together, especially in our Baker games.”

The MHS bowlers have been hard at work all season preparing for this moment, often practicing twice a day throughout the week. Taylor Sr. said he will give his guys a little time to soak this in, but soon enough it’s time to get back down to business.

“We are not going to practice tomorrow morning, we are going to let everyone relax, but then Thursday morning at 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. we are back at it,” Taylor Sr. said. “We are going to work on our Baker games and work on our spares. We will do some striking drills and we are just going to be together as a team. I have three guys on standby, so I am taking nine guys and all nine will be at practice. Maybe those three guys are pushing the other six a little stronger.

“We are not done yet, we are 16-0 and there is something about the ring of 17-0 that is really important.”