Potter picks up sixth place for Bobcat girls
WATERLOO — After the first few frames in the individual portion of the Iowa High School State Bowling Tournament on Wednesday, it seemed like it was Karlie Potter’s championship to lose.
The Marshalltown senior started off throwing six strikes in her first six frames, and head coach Andy Schwandt said he almost had to start watching his hands over his face.
“I was nervous, I don’t know who was more nervous, her or myself,” Schwandt said, a bit of a blush coming across his face. “I was just sitting there shaking as I was writing things down, I was keeping track of every shot so I have a record of her every shot of both games and when I looked down at six I just didn’t want to look at it.”
Unfortunately the perfect-game bid came to a close on the next frame when Potter left a split, but she still closed out that frame strong and finished the first game with a 232 to head into the second game in second place.
Potter would throw a 183 in her second game and finish off her state appearance with a 415, a score that would net her sixth place individually. Potter, the first MHS girl to compete at state since Meagan Taylor in the inaugural state meet in 2007, said she was still upset about leaving that split in the seventh frame of game one.
“I thought I could get seven but then I left that split, I was disappointed at that,” Potter said.
Though she thinks she could have done better, Potter said she still was happy with how she represented the Bobcats on Wednesday, only the second Marshalltown girl to ever wear the blue and red at state.
“I feel good about it, my second game could have been better but it is what it is,” Potter said. “Those two opens killed me my second game but I still did pretty good my second game.
“To be the second girl in Bobcat history to make it to state and then get top six and beat some of the Bobcat boys, it feels pretty good.”
Potter’s score actually would have placed her fourth for the boys, who finished runner up as a team, and she would have finished in the top 20 as a whole on the boys scores individually.
Schwandt said her bowling with the girl who finished first, Natalie Leach from Dubuque Hempstead with a 495, actually helped push Potter to her second-best series of the season.
“She is a very competitive person and she felt a little disappointed knowing that the other gal we were bowling with won, but she was just locked in and there was no stopping her,” Schwandt said. “Karlie just stuck in there and kept at it, I am very proud of her for the fact that this was her goal, she worked hard at her goal and she accomplished her mission.”
Potter’s placement was the cherry on top of a great season for the Marshalltown girls, as they finished just shy of winning their district meet and qualifying as a team for the first time ever. Schwandt said what Potter achieved on Wednesday by finishing sixth and what the girls achieved as a whole this season should absolutely set the team up for future success.
“Any time you have success, success breeds success. Hopefully the ones that are coming up can see that it’s possible,” Schwandt said. “The girls program has always kind of been underneath the boys program quite a bit, but now we’ve shown we can do it by coming really close last Tuesday, then Karlie qualifying and going on, I think that can give hope to all of those future Bobcat bowlers in addition to everybody else out that if we work together as a team we can get here again.”
Potter said what it will take to get to state is quite a bit of time and effort, but she knows the MHS girls have the potential.
“A lot of practice, a lot of hard work and they have to be committed to the team too,” Potter said. “I hope that the girls coming up next year can look up to me and think ‘oh yeah, she made state and we want to make it to state and we can make it here if she made it there.’ Hopefully that will be their goals too.”
Team Standings — 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 3,103, 2. Muscatine 3,004, 3. Dubuque Senior 2,796, 4. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 2,755, 5. Waterloo West 2,620, 6. Johnston 2,581, 7. Des Moines Lincoln 2,530, 8. West Des Moines Valley 2,425.
Individual (top 10) — 1. Natalie Leach, Dubuque Hempstead, 225-270–495; 2. Mikayla Hite, CRP, 214-256–473; 3. Kayla Maurer, MSC, 201-259–460; 4. Gabi Evans, MSC, 246-187–433; 5. Ashley Sundstrom, CRP, 187-243–430; 6. Karlie Potter, MHS, 232-183–415; 7. Brittney Miller, DML, 222-192–414; 8. (tie) Megan Kitzmiller, CRJ, 175-237–412; Emily Hartgraves, CRP, 189-223–412; 10. Ragan Carey, MSC, 214-191–405.