Manawa’s Beyer wins second title
By Jane Myhra
Manawa’s Carlene Beyer can now call herself a two-time state champion.
The Little Wolf High School junior returned from the Bowling Centers Association of Wisconsin’s High School Bowling Club State Championship, held March 3-5 at AMF Bowlero Lanes in Wauwatosa, with her second straight girls’ Division 2 singles championship.
Although she also placed first in the event 2016, Beyer said she is more excited about her latest accomplishment.
“Not everybody gets to say they are back-to-back state champions,” she said.
“As far as we can tell, there has never been a back-to-back in winner in boys’ or girls’ bowling,” said her father, Matt Beyer, who coaches Manawa’s high school bowling team with Wayne Krueger. “Carlene dominated in the finals this year.”
She defeated Candace Kipp of Madison East 200-159 in the finals and was the only bowler from Manawa to qualify for the singles competition. She also bowled with Manawa’s girls’ team that qualified for the team competition and placed sixth.
The team also includes Sydney Bailey, MaKenna Jaeger, Kelsey Jaeger, Amanda Prill and Samantha Struzynski.
“I was very proud that the team never gave up,” Matt Beyer said. “They fought until the end.”
Beyer admitted to being nervous in the first round, which she won 169-165 over Oshkosh West’s Haley Stueber.
“My dad told me to show some emotion and then I bowled better,” she said. “I felt more confident in what I was doing. I was feeling the emotion, not the nerves.”
Beyer spends five days a week at Kegler’s Bowling Center in Manawa, which is owned by her parents, Matt and Jennie.
“Her game really took off when she started practicing on her own,” Matt Beyer said. “She began working on the little things like shooting spares, bowling around cones and other drills. You need to be self-motivated to excel at any sport.”
Beyer spends her weekends competing in bowling tournaments.
“I love meeting new people and seeing them over and over again at tournaments,” she said. “I love the thrill of competing.”
She hopes to bowl in college and maybe become a professional bowler. She plans to study physical therapy in college because she likes working with people.
Beyer received a $500 scholarship for winning the tournament, sponsored by the BCAW.
“Bowling teaches fundamentals for a lifetime sport and there are many scholarship opportunities,” Matt Beyer said. “It is a great activity for team bonding.”
According to the BCAW, bowling is the fastest-growing high school sport this decade. Nearly 200 high schools in Wisconsin have students participating on a high school team.
Beyer isn’t the only area bowler to win a state title. The top-seeded Amherst girls’ team, consisting of Rae Ballinger, Skylar Bricco, Briana Gullikson, Mikaela Hilker, Krista Hintz, Sydney Hintz and Courtney Wuthrich, won the Division 2 team championship with a two-game 350-285 victory over Kewaskum in the finals.
Two other local teams also competed in Division 2. Iola-Scandinavia’s coed team of Brooke Johnson, Bryanna Kisting, Erika Kisting, Andy Marsden, Dawson Marsden and Jacob Webie placed 15th, while Amherst’s boys’ team of Griffin Firkus, Kyle Hintz, Robbert Johannes, Mason Peterson, Ty Peterson and Seth Wideman finished fifth.