COLUMBUS — Miami Trace High School junior Gabby McCord competed in the Division I State bowling tournament Saturday, March 7 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.
Two years ago, McCord placed 20th at the Division II State tournament.
On Saturday, McCord placed 18th out of 77 bowlers who bowled three games, equating to placing in the top 23 percent of those who bowled three games at State.
McCord had a 576 series with games of 177, 174 and 225.
In 2018, McCord had a 532 series.
Junior Ashley Falke of Springfield High School won the District with a 641 series (191, 216, 234).
The team from Gahanna Lincoln High School won the Division I State title by defeating Cincinnati Seton, Springfield and Fairborn.
In placing 18th, McCord missed being named Honorable Mention, All-Ohio by seven pins.
The top five bowlers are First Team, All-Ohio; bowlers six through 10 are Second Team, All-Ohio and bowlers who finish 11th through 15th are Honorable Mention, All-Ohio.
“I improved from last time,” McCord said. “I was very nervous. I just couldn’t calm down. Finally I found my spot in my third game and things fell like I wanted them to.
“My first and second games were interesting,” McCord said. “On the day, I only missed three spares. I only missed the top 15 by seven pins. If I would have picked up one of those spares, I would have been top 15.
“My dad looked it up and if I would have bowled in Division II this year with that score, I would have been eighth,” McCord said. “Division I and Division II have a big difference.
“I would just like to thank my parents, Roger and Brandy, and my coaches,” McCord said.
McCord will spend at least part of her summer keeping up with her bowling in summer leagues and travel leagues.
“She did very well,” Miami Trace girls bowling coach Diane Amore said. “She was still nervous, even though she had been there before.
“She had a real good series,” Amore said. “She had three (open frames). Had she covered those opens, she would have been right up there with everybody else in the top 15. One (more) spare would have been enough (to place her in the top 15 for All-Ohio recognition).
“That’s one thing we preach: spares, spares, spares,” Amore said. “Spares are important. Spares matter.
“The girls that are on the top (of the State standings), they’re the ones that bowl all year,” Amore said. “They don’t just bowl in high school, they bowl in their junior leagues. Those girls bowl all the time.”
“Gabby did a nice job,” coach Ron Amore Sr. said. “She had a 576 (series). She missed three spares all day. It goes to show you how important spares are. If she’d have made one more spare, she would have been in the Honorable Mention class. If she had made all three spares, she would have been Second Team, All-Ohio. That’s how important the spares are.
“She did a nice job,” Amore said. “She was a little bit excited when she first started. After she got calmed down, she bowled pretty well.
“I’d like to see her work on her game all summer,” Amore said. “We tell all the kids that every year; ‘don’t put your bowling balls down.’ If they put their ball away and don’t practice (over the) summer, it’s not as good as if you keep working on your game. If they bowl once or twice a week, a couple of games, it makes a huge difference next year. They just need to stay in touch with their game and keep working on their game to get better.
“I’m very proud of her,” Amore said. “I told her up there we expect to see her back there next year, if she keeps working on her game. She’s a pretty good bowler.”