Bowlers on the ball at state championships

Juanita/Inglemoor squad scores stellar results.

A trio of bowlers from Juanita and Inglemoor high schools left their mark at the recent state tournament at the Paradise Entertainment Center in Tacoma.

After hitting the lanes on Feb. 16-17 as members of the combined local varsity squad, Juanita’s Madeline Sage placed second in Division II with 1,220 pins. Inglemoor’s Nathan Takacs finished in third place in Division II with 1,171 total pins and Gregory Pinget took eighth in Division I with 1,092 pins.

Boys and girls competed together in the two divisions at the 54th annual Washington State Bowling Proprietors’ Association tournament and Juanita/Inglemoor bowled in the Westside section.

Whether it’s family game night or high-school bowling, Juanita junior Sage is competitive to the fullest, she laughed. It’s all about having fun as well, of course, she added.

On the bowling scene, she strives to be focused and make adjustments along the way. All the way to second place at state in her third year on the squad.

Sage’s brother encouraged her to sign up for the Saturday junior league five years ago at Kenmore Lanes and she fell in love with the sport.

“All the other people, everyone is always so nice,” Sage said. “The competition is always really fun. You get to improve at something that’s not always the same every single time.”

It was Takacs’ first time at state and the freshman said he got past the initial nervousness and found his comfort zone.

“It was exciting,” said his dad and team coach Leif. “As I told him before, if he can find his spot and go after it, he can achieve a lot. He’s a good bowler.”

Nathan — a two-handed bowler like Australian pro Jason Belmonte — has had some disabilities (seizures), but they haven’t gotten in the way of his bowling, according to Leif. “Bowling is for everybody if they put in the hard work,” Leif added.

Prior to state, the local squad placed second in the traveling league, which featured matches in Kenmore, Shoreline and Lynnwood. With just three team members, Leif said they’re hoping to grow the program next season.

Nathan, who began bowling at age 5 or 6 and started taking it seriously about five years ago, said the best part of the sport is, “(Being) competitive. Sometimes it’s challenging — you just bowl really hard.”

Inglemoor senior Pinget has been on the squad for three years and has been involved in the sport for 10 years. Pinget thrives when he’s given a new opportunity to succeed with each frame and find a way to complete the challenges.

He admitted to being nervous at the state tournament, but that stress soon melted into fun with each throw of the ball against the top bowlers in the state.

“You have to be confident and always follow along on the path of your bowling skills,” he said. “Give it your best shot.”

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