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Area student-athletes shine at state adapted bowling qualifiers

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 7:28 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2022 at 7:31 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — A season of hard work comes down to this moment where bowlers out of Mankato East, Mankato West, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, JWP-Waseca, and St. Peter/Le Sueur-Henderson can earn a bid to compete for state hardware.

“I just want to go to the championship to get a trophy for my mom and dad because they know I like to go bowling a lot and it makes me feel like I’m a part of the team,” Mankato West freshman Shanti Esters said.

Shanti Esters’ combination of power and accuracy makes her one of West’s strongest competitors despite only being a freshman.

With over 480 bowlers across Minnesota, it takes commitment to win at the state level. Just ask defending state champion in the Autism Spectrum Disorder division, JWP senior Ashlynn Cameron.

She says the key to becoming a state champion is “by getting better at it, by practicing a lot.”

Competition at the Wow! Zone began with girls and boys singles, where St. Peter junior Mitchell Joosten caught fire and recorded a personal best 149.

“Mitchell, today, has really done well,” Minnesota River head coach Keith Bense said. “He’s bowled above his average for both games and had a personal high of 149 for his second.”

The recipe for success begins with simply having fun.

“I get to be here, see my friends, get to cheer them on, and it’s kind of nice to be at the Wow! Zone, we get to skip school all day,” Mankato West freshman Chloe Marks said.

That excitement is felt by everyone in attendance.

We’ll have an update on area qualifiers in the days and weeks to come.

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