There is not a moment to spare when it comes to bowling

Photo courtesy of Arkansas State Athletics

Sophomore Brooklyn Buchanan following through her roll.

Caroline Averitt | Staff Writer

The Arkansas State Women’s Bowling team finds itself ranked in the top ten in the nation with a current 37-17 win-to-loss ratio. 

The team, coached by Head Coach Justin Kostick and Assistant Coach Taylor Bailey, will be traveling to Orlando for the Sunshine State Classic, Feb. 10-12. The team will play in several other tournaments for the remainder of the season, including the Mid-Winter Invitational at Hijinx Family Entertainment Center in Jonesboro, Feb. 17-19. Spectators can watch the Mid-Winter Invitational at Hijinx for free. 

Though the team ranks highly, they have been working to climb higher. 

“We’re ranked about sixth or seventh in the country right now but ideally, we would like to be in the top four,” Bailey said. “The past couple tournaments haven’t gone to our liking so we’ve just been putting extra work in. Sixth and seventh is not a bad spot, but it’s just not where we’d like to be.” 

This year marks Bailey’s second season coaching at A-State. She bowled at McKendree University from 2016-2020. She helped her team with an NCAA national championship in 2017. She also made Junior Team USA in 2018 and got chosen to travel to the World Youth Championships where her team won the gold medal. 

One stand out player, Brooklyn Buchanan, helped the team beat Vanderbilt by six points and McKendree by one point. 

“She just amazes me every day,” Bailey said, “she’s pretty amazing at doing really big things.” 

Brooklyn Buchanan, a senior management major from Snohomish, Washington, said, “The women’s bowling team at A-State is a top ranked program in the nation and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to begin competing here as a first-year in 2020.” 

Buchanan began bowling when she was young due to its strong presence in her community and began taking it seriously in order to win scholarships. She has earned many honors in bowling including All Tournament Team finishes, being named to the All Southland Conference 1st Team, and being named a 1st Team NTCA All-American. 

Another notable player, Faith Welch, recently returned to the team after taking some time off after a surgery. 

“Faith is incredible. She just came back from having wrist surgery. She took last semester off and now she is right back into the semester as if nothing ever happened. I think that is just amazing to do, I mean, it’s not easy to overcome a major surgery, especially on a body part that really involves your sport,” Bailey said. 

Faith Welch, a senior psychology major from Hardin County, Tennessee, began bowling her third grade year when her school started a team. She stuck with it through high school and her team won state every year. 

Welch said, “I was injured last year and just had surgery on my right wrist, which has created a major setback for me this year. I had ECU tendon reconstruction and TFCC debridement as well as two anchors attaching my ECU tendon to my ulna.” 

Since recovering, she slowly began playing again. She said her favorite part of this season has been getting to play again for the first time since last season. 

“There will always be hardships in life but how we deal with them will determine our future,”

The team will play in just five more tournaments this season. After those, the NCAA will host regionals and then the championship. The team is working hard to continue a successful season. 

“Just like any other sports team on campus, we love support from and interacting with the community. Our home center is at The Social in Jonesboro and we would love to see more members of the community coming out to grab some lunch and see us practice,” Buchanan said. 

The team’s goal for the remainder of the season: to win the national championship. 

Categories: Sports

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