By Chris Jaster
Stephanie Adams had a crazy schedule to try to make the Canadian youth 10-pin bowling team this season, but the Souris native feels it was worth it.
Two days after competing in a tournament in Iowa, the Souris native came home and flew out to Toronto where she finished 10th overall in the adult competition, but second in the youth women’s event to make that team. The youth bowling team won’t compete until the 2015 Pan American Bowling Confederation championships, but it gives the 19-year-old something to look forward to for the next while.
"It’s going to be fun," Adams said. "I am so excited, and especially since everyone who made the team, we’re all new girls who made it. We’re all talking about it and we’re all thinking we’re going to do pretty good because sometimes there’s people on there who don’t get along and everyone on the team now gets along."
Making the national team was a perfect ending to a fantastic season on the lanes.
Adams spent her freshman year at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on a bowling scholarship. She did well in the classroom and at the alley. By the end of the season, Adams was anchoring the William Penn team, which was a long way from where she started.
Adams was nervous at her first college tournament and posted a 158 average. Her coach, however, adjusted her delivery, which got rid of the arm problems that has plagued the 5-foot-8 business management through her career, and she became more confident in her abilities.
By Christmas, Adams got her average up to 207 and helped William Penn place seventh at the United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Championship regionals in Fort Worth, Texas.
That wasn’t good enough to get through to nationals, and Adams was left regretting one bad game.
"I had one really bad game that took me out of it," she said. "If I would have made a 200 in the middle (game), I would have made the top four. After that really low game, I had doubt in myself and then my next game I changed balls and went 235 and was ‘OK, I’m back in it.’ I was really happy with the way things went this year."
Adams is now back home for the summer, where she will practise and volunteer helping young bowlers in Brandon. She also plans on going to a USBC Youth Open in New York in July.
Her college coach told her that he believes she will become all-American by her fourth season and Adams is looking forward to going to back school in the fall to anchor the William Penn team and continue to improve.
"I think I’m going to have a lot more confidence, especially because I finished really well in collegiate bowling this year," she said. "I won’t have the nerves and it sounds like I’ll be anchoring for my team."