Comet boys and girls both finish 3rd at Class 1A State Bowling Tournament
By John Burbridge
WATERLOO — Unless there is a drastic change provoked by yet another newer form of math, third place will likely always come after second place and ahead of fourth.
Still, third place can be subject to varying interpretations.
Take the double-third place showing by the Charles City Comet boys and girls bowling teams at the Class 1A State Tournament held Monday at the tourney’s new home, Cadillac Lanes.
“The boys were a little disappointed, but the girls were elated,” said Charles City head coach Doug Bohlen, after his teams earned their sixth and seventh state trophies from the past five years for finishing in the top three — last year the Comet boys and girls both placed runner-up at state.
The Comet boys, which set and reset the school record for the highest dual-meet pinfall this past season, totaled 3,063 behind champion Camanche (3,279) and runner-up Louisa-Muscatine (3,075), and 3 pins ahead of fourth-place finisher Durant.
The Comet boys were led by sophomore Cael Bohlen, grandson of the head coach, who placed second among the individuals with a two-game series of 490 that included a 279 in his second game.
Bohlen, a 222-average bowler who had flirted with perfection during the past season before settling for a school-record-tying 299 game as part of a school-record-setting 569 series, again put together a substantial string of strikes in the aforementioned second game before leaving a 7-pin in the eighth frame. Bohlen had been matching strikes with Louisa-Muscatine’s Keaten Bieri, who managed to extend his string to 11 on way to recording the highest game (299) of the tournament to salvage a fourth-place showing after rolling a 167 in the first game.
Camanche junior Troy Edmunds led the team champs and all individuals with a 566 series.
Comet senior Cade Schmidt finished in the Top 10 with a 441 series.
Last week, Schmidt was a district state-qualifying individual champion with a 524 series that included a 290 in the latter game. After finishing the individual round with 11 straight, Schmidt struck eight more times in the Baker Rotation round for 19 strikes in a row.
At state, Schmidt was stopped short of three strikes in a row while working on a double going into the 10th frame.
“He just nailed the pocket with the messenger [a pin that ricochets off the wall across the rack] just missing taking out the 10-pin,” Bohlen said. “That could have been enough to move us up to second place.
“Our guys didn’t bowl bad. We left a lot of corner pins and we missed some spares. It was in our grasp, but you only bowl three games when you include the two frames you bowl in each of the Baker games so you don’t have much time to catch up if you fall behind. You either bowl good enough to win or you don’t.”
The Comet girls graduated a lot of talent from last season, so coming home with a state trophy was far from a guarantee.
“But I figured if they bowled the best they could, they would have a chance,” Bohlen said.
And that’s exactly what the Comet girls did at Cadillac Lanes, compiling a season-best pinfall of 2,577 pins behind dominant champion Louisa-Muscatine (3,043) and runner-up Central DeWitt (2,719).
Bowling in her final high school event, Charles City senior Joslyn Cotton led the Comets with a two-game 393 series, which placed her fifth among individuals.
Comet junior Sarah Mitchell placed just outside the Top 20 with a 332 series; Comet freshman Imigin McHenry’s 328 series was good enough for 24th place.
Louisa-Muscatine was led by Whittney Morse, who claimed her third-straight individual title with a 484 series. Morse was part of a L-M foursome that included Jersey Lessenger (438), Shadyn Bishop (390) and Maddi Gerdts (375) that placed in the Top 10.
“They are just an excellent team,” Bohlen said of the L-M girls.
The Comets shared the same pair of lanes with the Falcons, but they weren’t intimidated. Rather, L-M may have shown the Comets the way in keeping Dubuque Wahlert at bay while claiming the third-place trophy.
“We went into the Baker round leading (DW) by just 25 pins,” Bohlen said. “I noticed while watching the Louisa-Muscatine girls play outside at about the seventh board that they found a good line. We were going right up the second arrow, but then we decided to adjust to go outside, too.”
The Comet girls went on to shoot a five-game total of 906 in the Baker round (181 average) while extending their advantage over fourth-place finisher DW to 140 pins.
“They really responded at the end,” Bohlen said of the Comet girls. “I’m proud of what they accomplished.”
* After a fire destroyed Plaza Lanes in Des Moines, the site for the Bowling State Tournament was moved to Cadillac Lanes where it has been for the past three years.
Recently, it was jointly announced by the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union that Cadillac Lanes will continue to host the state tournament through 2022.
CLASS 1A STATE BOWLING TOURNAMENT
AT CADILLAC LANES, Waterloo
1. Camanche 3,279
2. Louisa-Muscatine 3,075
3. Charles City 3,063
4. Durant 3,060
5. Shenandoah 3,049
6. Forest City 2,996
7. Monticello 2,824
8. Centerville 2,436
INDIVIDUAL TOP 10
1. Troy Edmunds (Ca) 566, 2. Cael Bohlen (CC) 490, 3. Drew Henderson (D) 476, 4. Keaten Bieri (LM) 476, 5. Connor Thompson (FC) 459, 6. Austin Dau (Ca) 446, 7. Dustin Beaham (LM) 446, 8. Levi Temple (M) 445, 9. Cade Schmidt 441, 10. Caden Hall (Red Oak) 441.
CHARLES CITY — Bohlen 490, Schmidt 441, Nathan Shultz 407, Dillan Ross 400, Nathan Girkin 352, Noah Reams 304.
1. Louisa-Muscatine 3,043
2. Central DeWitt 2,719
3. Charles City 2,577
4. Dubuque Wahlert 2,437
5. Independence 2,434
6. Harlan 2,433
7. Red Oak 2,305
8. Clarke 1,975
INDIVIDUAL TOP 10
1. Whittney Morse (LM) 484, 2. Christina Harrelso (Vinton-Shellsburg) 451, 3. Kaylee Tebbe (Camanche) 445, 4. Jersey Lessenger (LM) 438, 5. Joslyn Cotton (CC) 393, 6. Kim Hendricks (CD) 390, 7. Shadyn Bishop (LM) 390, 8. Maddie Gerdts (LM) 375, 9. Alyssa Lampe (CD) 365, 10. Emily Berkey (RO) 358.
CHARLES CITY — Cotton 393, Sarah Mitchell 332, Imigin McHenry 328, Brianna Ross 316, Sofia Nelson 302, Heather Viers 300.