Bailey Carlson didn't reach her goal when the Free State bowling squads faced Olathe South at Royal Crest Lanes on Tuesday.
But her performance sure made for a proud moment for her mom - and Free State coach - Anita Carlson.
Anita Carlson had a big grin on her face when finding out that her daughter was the top FSHS girls bowler with a series of 597.
"Of course it's special because it's my kid," coach Carlson said. "She's a first-year bowler and was a little bit nervous - shaking in her boots there for a little bit. But she did a real excellent job."
The grin got a bit wider when she found out that Bailey had actually set out to bowl a 600 series - well above her average.
"I was not aware that she was going to shoot for 600," Anita Carlson said. "But she's been shooting very well at practice and had some 190s, and it happened for her. It wasn't a 600, but with a 597 she was pretty darn close. So I'm extremely proud of her."
The female Firebirds, who coach Carlson said have been coming on strong, fell short of Olathe South's 2,265 total with their 2,101 score.
"It was a really solid outing for our girls," Bailey Carlson said. "I think a few girls could have picked up their game, but that's OK. South is just a really good bowling team, and we didn't expect it. But we performed really well, and since we were bowling at home we knew we could do something."
Free State's top four girls just missed cracking into the 500s. Christina Picicci was the only other girls bowler to join Bailey Carlson in the 500s with her 507 series. Michelle Schieffer finished just one pin shy with a 499, while Amelia Firns-Hubert was one pin behind that.
"This year's varsity squad is the best we've ever had," Anita Carlson said. "They shot a 2,101, and it's the best we've ever done in Free State history. So they've accomplished a lot this year and have broken many records."
While Anita Carlson has been impressed with how the girls have been bowling of late, she didn't share the same sentiment about the boys squad.
After what Carlson said was a disappointing performance at home a week ago by the boys team, the squad, which bowled 2,551, seemed to be back on its game despite losing to Olathe South by 81 pins.
"We shot really, really well, but the other team just shot really well also and had two 700 (series) - which hardly ever happens," FSHS's Tyler Kring said. "So there's not a whole lot you can do. We just had to bowl good and hope for the best. We'll take a 2,551 any day - it just didn't work out today."
All four of Free State's top boys bowlers registered 600-plus series, with Kring's 681 leading the way. Aaron Bernhardt followed Kring with a 633, while Rob Wagner's 621 series and Alex Hardman's 616 rounded out the top four.
"Today was a great showing. It was the best showing we've had out of the boys team this year," Anita Carlson said. "At the end of the day you have to decide, 'Did we lose because we did not bowl well, did not show up and we weren't on top of our game? Or, were we on top of our game and we just got beat fair and square?' And that's what happened today. Olathe was just tremendous."