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By Shannon Mulcahey, Xavier junior
CEDAR RAPIDS — Accomplished is the only word that adequately describes how the Cedar Rapids Xavier boys’ and girls’ bowling teams feel about this season.
Both teams will compete Monday at the Class 1A state tournament at Plaza Lanes in Des Moines.
Seniors Tara Trcka and Kirby Guge also qualified as individuals.
“The bowling teams worked so hard this season to get to where we are, so it feels good to know our hard work paid off,” said Trcka, the 2011 state champion and a four-time qualifier.
It all started to look promising for the girls’ team earlier this month when Trcka led the team to a 2664-2565 win over Dubuque Wahlert, tying the school record with a series of 514. The Saints lost the following meet to Cedar Rapids Prairie, but they did not get discouraged.
Trcka’s series of 425 at regionals — and the five other bowlers’ scores — were high enough to get the Saints to state. Her series also is the third highest qualifying score in the Class 1A meet.
Xavier finished in third place in the team standings behind Wahlert and Camanche. The girls’ team concluded the regular season with a 7-3 record.
“I will never forget the four years I had here at Xavier bowling for Coach (Russ) Camacho,” Trcka said. “It was such a great experience and a fun time.”
The Saints’ boys’ team took momentum from a season-ending win over Prairie into districts, where they finished third with a score of 3114 — the fourth highest qualifying total in the state.
Guge shot a 456 series and finished fifth in the meet, earning an individual state berth.
“I could not have asked for a better team of boys to help me get to state as well as make this year the best bowling year for Coach Camacho,” he said. “We have one more goal and that is to try our best at state and bring home the team and individual championship for both the boys and girls.”
Throughout the season, Camacho has emphasized believing in yourself and your team. He is proud of both teams.
“Tara once again proved that she is one of the mentally toughest athletes that I have ever coached,” Camacho said. “I am continually impressed by her toughness and leadership of this team.
“The work that Kirby did in the late part of this season truly changed him as a bowler. Both are great examples of what you can accomplish by hard work and dedication.”
WESTERN DUBUQUE , led by individual qualifier Brittany Schmitt, also qualified in the Class 1A girls’ field. West Delaware is the top qualifier in 1A boys and is joined by Western Dubuque. West Delaware’s Zach Weber ranks fourth individually and is joined in the field by Andrew Hermsen of Independence as well as Guge.
The Class 2A meet is Tuesday with Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Washington in the girls’ field, Linn-Mar and the Warriors in the boys’ tournament.
Prairie’s Rylee Blood qualified with the second-best girls’ score and Jefferson’s Rylea Bennett and Savannah Fowler, Kennedy’s Amanda Wiedemeier and Washington’s Shania Duffy and Courtney Snodgrass also qualified individually.
Kennedy’s Troy McKiernan ranks fourth among the boys’ qualifiers and is joined by Linn-Mar’s Austin Swanson and Justin Wyant and Prairie’s Nick Blood.