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, 2018-04-18 21:14:48
GALESBURG — Churchill Junior High School eighth grader Chloe Day is good at everything she does and she does a lot.
Day plays softball and volleyball, runs track and bowls. Sometimes all at the same time and while maintaining her status as a high honors student and playing oboe in the band.
But what does she like best?
“I like bowling,” she says. “It’s always been my passion. It’s my favorite thing to do.”
That passion got stoked big-time last weekend when Day, bowling as an individual, won the Illinois Elementary School Association state bowling tournament at Joliet’s Town & Country Lanes. She bowled a 1,906 pin total over 10 games – a 190.6 average – to stand atop a field of 150 bowlers. That score included the tourney’s high game of 235, which she bowled in her opening game on Friday.
“I wasn’t really nervous at first,” said Day. “I’ve bowled in front of a lot of people before like in my Saturday morning (Youth American Bowling Association) league at Northgate and the Pepsi state qualifier in Peru.”
Not bad for someone who didn’t even know the IESA – better known for its state basketball, volleyball and track meets – had a state bowling tournament .
“We found out about it when Ed Henson (Galesburg High School’a bowling coach) was checking into whether Chloe could bowl for the high school team as an eighth grader,” said Cindy Sullivan, Day’s mother.
“He found out she couldn’t but we did find out the IESA had a state tournament.”
Henson, who has watched Day average about 184 in YABA competition, got her pumped up for her high school career with his offer.
“I was really excited,” said Day. “It would have been awesome if I could have played up.
“I’m glad Ed though I could play at that level.”
Although Day has a personal best 279 game and 648 series at Northgate, she didn’t need to reach those levels to breeze through last Friday’s four-game preliminaries in first place.
It got a little more exciting during Saturday’s six-game finals.
Day maintained her lead through the first two games before she fell behind Minooka’s Brianna Gillson by a pin after the third game.
Day regained a one-pin lead after four games and Gillson led by a pin after five games.
But then Day shot a 200 in the sixth game to Gillson’s 164, a game she could have tied by striking out in the 10th frame.
“It got pretty emotional at the end,” said Sullivan.
Also competing in the tournament was Lombard Middle School seventh-grader Mataya Caldwell, who shot a 1,354 over 10 games to place 50th. Caldwell’s mother Kari, served as coach for her daughter and Day during the weekend.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Sullivan of her daughter. “We do a lot of running – one thing to another, to another.
“But she has a real mentality for sports. A real drive.”
Day admits she might have to cut back on her busy schedule when she hits GHS next year.
Asked what she’ll participate in next year, she says, “Band, softball, volleyball and bowling.”
And she’ll get it all done – and done well – just like she’s done so far.
“Things just seem to work out,” she said. “Sometimes I leave a little bit early to make another practice.
“But bowling is pretty flexible.”
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