Rodman’s runner-up finish helps LHS girls bowling claim 3rd at Sunflower League

The Lawrence High girls bowling team poses with their respective medals after notching third at the Sunflower League meet on Tuesday at College Lanes on Feb. 11, 2020.

Moments after stepping away from the podium, Lawrence High senior Emilie Rodman insisted that the rest of the varsity girls bowling team take another photo together.

Rodman set her phone on the counter at College Lanes on Tuesday and took a group photo of the six-player squad. All the bowlers held up a medal, while Rodman revealed two to the camera.

Behind a runner-up finish by Rodman as an individual, Lawrence High secured third as a team in the 2020 Sunflower League meet. LHS girls placed sixth as a squad in last year’s league meet.

“It was cool, we definitely tried really hard,” Rodman said. “Baker was a struggle in some spots, but we figured it out. I had full courage in our girls. We did good, we worked together and the energy was good the whole time.”

But not long before the Lions’ celebratory photo, Rodman was on the verge of tears. After not posting her best series score, Rodman nervously waited for her name to be called when they revealed the top-10 individuals in descending order.

Rodman eventually had her name announced and she climbed to podium as the lone city bowler to earn a top-10 finish in both the girls and boys division on the day. Rodman, who placed fifth as an individual at last year’s league meet, rolled a series score of 564 en route to a runner-up finish.

Cheyanne Bolin of Shawnee Mission Northwest won the individual crown with a series score of 622. Nicole Thomas of Shawnee Mission South placed third with a 563. Olathe North won the team title with a total score of 2,990.

“Usually, I can scale scores because there are only six lanes for varsity girls,” Rodman said. “Now, it was a whole alley and I didn’t know any of the other scores before they announced them. I thought I bowled really bad, and I didn’t place. But I did good, I’m proud of myself.”

Such is life for Rodman in what has been a sensational senior campaign. Even when she’s not at her best, Rodman has been near the top of the leaderboard all year.

The Sunflower League meet marked Rodman’s second runner-up finish in her eight varsity meets this season. Rodman has placed first as an individual six times, including the season opener when she bested 113 other bowlers with a season-high series score of 626.

For comparison, Rodman finished first as an individual in a total of four meets last year. At one point, Rodman won three competitions in a row between Jan. 28 through Feb. 5 of 2018.

“I’ve learned to be patient and learned to be humble,” Rodman said. “One of the things I’ve improved on the most is being positive throughout the whole tournament.”

Rodman also credited her teammates for playing a huge part in Lawrence’s top-three finish, as the Lions were actually seeded fourth entering the baker format. Senior Lana Chieu and junior Bean Foster delivered in key moments to help LHS net a team medal.

Free State, meanwhile, placed ninth with a team score of 2,456. Junior Rena Stoupakis posted the highest series score, rolling a 488 for the day. Ashley Edwinson posted a 477, while Khloe Polian finished with a 448.

Free State junior Rena Stoupakis rolls the ball during the Sunflower League meet Tuesday afternoon at College Lanes on Feb. 11, 2020.

Both boys teams finish inside top six

There was no city individual that found the podium on the boys side, and Lawrence High sophomore Sebastian Daniel won’t soon forget that.

Daniel posted his best career series score of 612, which included a 212 in the first game. It was good enough for him to place 11th, though Daniel was fully aware of how close he was to ending up with a medal. Spencer Giffin of Olathe Northwest took 10th with a series score of 632.

“I just wish I did better,” Daniel said. “I could have got one spare that I missed, and I probably would have got 10th.”

But Daniel was one of the many LHS bowlers who rose to the occasion without one of the team’s best bowlers. Junior Wheeler Battaglia-Davis, who has the highest average on the team, was sick and ended up missing the Sunflower League meet.

Freshman Brady Edmonds took his spot in the lineup and rolled a series score of 601, which was 14th on the individual leaderboard. Sophomore Josh King recorded a series score of 611 to claim 12th as an individual.

As a team, the Lions were just shy of earning a medal by placing fourth with a team score of 3,215. Olathe East won the event with a 3,470, while Olathe Northwest (3,438) and Olathe South (3,430) rounded out the top three.

“I think we did a lot better than usual,” Daniel said. “I thought since we didn’t have (Battaglia-Davis), my hopes were down. We all did really well, and tomorrow we have another tournament. He might be there and he might not, and I think we will be fine.”

Lawrence High sophomore Sebastian Daniel rolls a ball during the Sunflower League bowling meet on Tuesday at College Lanes on Feb. 11, 2020.

It certainly benefited LHS for having competed in that venue on Jan. 21, something that wasn’t the case for Free State.

The Firebirds hadn’t played at College Lanes in two years, and that was evident early on. Free State, which has one team victory this season, eventually found its rhythm in the baker games before placing sixth with a team score of 3,100.

“We all could have bowled better individually,” FSHS senior Joey Taylor said. “The lanes just played a little differently than we were used to, it played a bit left. You have to learn to adapt.”

Sophomore Warren Williams was the only Firebird to finish in the top 20, taking 18th with a series score of 595. Sophomores Mike Tennyson and AJ Baker placed 30th and 34th, respectively.

Still, the Firebirds know they are capable of performing better than they did and they did as such during the baker format. With the season coming to a close, the performance on Tuesday could serve as an important lesson for Free State.

“We bowled great in the baker format, that’s probably the best we have bowled as a team in baker this whole year,” Taylor said. “If we bowl like we did at baker at those tournaments, then we are going to make some noise.”

Both Lawrence High and Free State will square off at Royal Crest Lanes on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Free State senior Joey Taylor rolls a ball during the Sunflower League bowling meet at College Lanes Tuesday morning on Feb. 11, 2020.

Sunflower League Invitational

Tuesday at College Lanes

Varsity girls team scores: 1. Olathe North 2990; 2. SM Northwest 2745; 3. Lawrence High 2732; 4. Olathe South 2714; 5. Olathe East 2706; 6. SM South 2548; 7. Gardner-Edgerton 2519; 8. SM North 2497; 9. Free State 2456; 10. Olathe West 2430; 11. SM West 2391; 12. Olathe NW 2350; 13. SM East 2299.

Top-10 individuals: 1. Cheyanne Bolin, SMNW, 622; 2. Emilie Rodman, LHS, 564; 3. Nichole Thomas, SMS, 563; 4. Jordan Reynolds, ON, 562; 5. Kayla Anderson, SMN, 556; 6. Brianna Hubenett, SMN, 552; 7. Kellie Kritzler, OE, 548; 8. Skylar Valdez, ON, 533; 9. Jessenia Hernandez, OS, 528; 10. Aubrey Cox, ON, 519.

LHS results: 2. Emilie Roman 564; 19. Lana Chieu 498; 33. Abby Tyler 475; 46. Jojo Blackwood 443; 47. Bean Foster 442; 56. Georgia Blackwood 410.

FSHS results: 25. Rena Stoupakis 488; 31. Ashley Edwinson 477; 42. Khloe Polian 448; 50. Aleah Garber 430; 54. Kaitlyn Harrington 418; 66. Roberta Gonzalez 384.

Varsity boys team scores: 1. Olathe East 3470; 2. Olathe Northwest 3438; 3. Olathe South 3430; 4. Lawrence High 3215; 5. Shawnee Mission South 3161; 6. Free State 3100; 7. SM West 3059; 8. SM Northwest 3058; 9. Olathe West 3039; 10. SM East 2966; 11. Olathe North 2947; 12. Gardner-Edgerton 2774; 13. SM North 2105.

Top-10 individuals: 1. Logan Rhodes, OE, 747; 2. Ben Ebeling, OS, 724; 3. Christian Kotwitz, ONW, 721; 4. Brady Beverman, OS, 681; 5. Charlie Cannon, OE, 666, 6. Sean McAllister, ONW, 664; 7. Brad Reichle, OE, 639; 8. Trent Liles, ON, 637; 9. Tomy Thomas, SMS, 634; 10. Spencer Giffin, ONW, 632.

LHS results: 11. Sebastian Daniel 612; 12. Josh King 611; 14. Brady Edmonds 601; 26. Remy Fowler 576; 53. Rhett May 511; 55. Maison Alabarado 508.

FSHS results: 18. Warren Williams 595; 30. Mike Tennyson 571; 34. A.J. Baker 559; 42. Ryan Neff 538; 49. Joey Taylor 522; 51. Porter Neidow 516.

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