WATERLOO, Iowa — No Class 1A girls bowling program had ever won three consecutive state titles.
That changed on Monday when the Louisa-Muscatine girls bowling team barely edged Camanche by a final pinfall of 2,947-2,932 to win its third consecutive state title. When Camanche was announced as the runner-up, Louisa-Muscatine assistant coach Wes Morse tossed three fingers in the air, and screams of joy could be heard coming from the Falcon’s huddle.
“It was kind of surreal,” Louisa-Muscatine junior Lauren Bodman said. “I didn’t believe it at first and then I started crying.”
In addition to being the first Class 1A program to three-peat, Louisa-Muscatine is just the second in all classifications to do so. Johnston did it from 2015-17 in Class 3A.
“I thought today was their best team performance from top to bottom we’ve had all year,” L-M coach Al Jordan said. “They had a good day and handled the pressure.”
The Falcons were led by four medalists Monday at Cadillac Lanes in Waterloo, including individual state champion Whittney Morse. The Louisa-Muscatine junior bowled a 472 two-game series to win the title for the second consecutive season.
“Amazing,” Morse said of being a back-to-back champion. “I’m just super glad my team was able to get me here to where I can do it.”
Morse barely edged Bodman, her teammate, on her way to the title. Bodman bowled a 470 two-game series to place second, which included a near-perfect second game in which she totaled 10 consecutive strikes before leaving two pins standing in the 10th frame and finished with a 288.
It would have been Bodman’s first ever 300 in a tournament or practice setting.
“It’s coming, my 300 is coming,” Bodman said with a smile. “I kept my feet slow and was rolling the ball really well. I kept my composure and didn’t get frustrated when I missed a spare.”
Sophomore Madisyn Gerdts rolled a 437 to place fourth while junior Shadyn Bishop was the Falcons' fourth and final medalist. She rolled a 400 to place eighth. Those scores are no surprise to Jordan, who sees all four girls go at each other every day in practice.
“They’re competitive with one another but still, in the end they’re a team,” Jordan said. “On any given day anybody can beat anybody.”
For as great as Monday was for the Falcons – Jordan called it one of the highlights of his coaching career – there’s a chance the run of success isn’t yet done as Louisa-Muscatine returns all six bowlers who competed Monday.
“Next year we’re going for four,” Jordan said. “We have a good crop of boys coming up, too. We’re coming in here and going for everything.”
Durant boys place third: Durant coach Robert Brown told his team before the awards ceremony he hoped Monday would be the start of a dynasty for his boys bowling team. If Monday is the Wildcats' starting point, they’re beginning in a pretty good spot, as they came in third place of the Class 1A boys meet with a 2,923 pinfall.
“We did really well and I’m proud of the guys,” Brown said. “I would love if we could start something where we’re consistently one of the top bowling teams in the state.”
Red Oak won the title with a 3,135 pinfall while Camanche was runner-up with 3,098.
Durant was led by Sean Odegard, who placed eighth with a 428 two-game series.
“He was able to get a good roll on the ball and a good hit in the pocket,” Brown said of Odegard. “It was nice seeing him have the day he had.”
Cameron Hoon, Jeremy Carnels, Drew Henderson and Drake Jehle all topped 400 for the Wildcats, with Hoon leading that group with a 418.