WICHITA — A state title was never needed to validate the career of Sumner Academy High School senior bowler Kaitlyn Carter.
By TAYLOR ELDRIDGE
Special to The Star
She thinks four league titles, four regional titles and, after Thursday, four top-10 finishes at the state meet are enough to call her four year run at Sumner a success.
But that state title sure would have been nice.
Carter had to settle for pats on the back and well wishes after rolling a 686 series to finish third in Class 5-1A at Northrock Lanes. It was the third consecutive year of finishing second or third for Carter.
“It’s like the one missing piece in what I would call a tremendous career,” Sumner coach Eddie Hunt said. “It’s going to hurt driving back from Wichita again this year.”
Carter came agonizingly close for the second straight year.
Last year, Carter was one pin away from the state championship. This year, after rolling games of 276 and 242, she was the frontrunner entering the final game, leading eventual winner Kirsten Allan of Buhler by 23 pins.
But a 168 final game left her 20 pins short of Allan’s winning score of 706.
Augusta won the team competition with a score of 2,546.
“I felt like it was definitely in my hands,” Carter said. “But it was totally my fault. I know I should have adjusted quicker and I didn’t, and I paid the price.”
Bowling will still be in the picture as Carter moves on to college (she’s still undecided) with the ambition of someday being a state trooper.
And she will do so with a clear mind, not troubled by the state title that eluded her.
“I’m very proud of my career I’ve had,” Carter said. “A lot of kids can’t say they’ve been to state all four years, and a lot of kids can’t say they’ve placed in the top-10 all four years. I feel good about it and I feel good about the mark I’ve made.”
The Lansing Lions were one spot away from a team trophy, finishing in fourth place as a team with a score of 2,574 pins led by John Bredehoeff’s sixth-place finish with his 688 series.
The area also had two other individuals in the top-10 with SM South’s Daniel Coup (fifth, 688) and St. James Academy’s Adam Wood (eighth, 674).
Great Bend came up with the team title and the individual title, as Daniel Herrman led the charge with the winning series of 759 pins to highlight the Panthers’ 2,695-pin team score.