Triton bowlers head to national tourney
LANSING, Mich. — In a season full of change, the Iowa Central bowling teams head to NJCAA National Championships wanting to continue their excellent form.
The three-day event begins here on Wednesday from the Royal Scot Bowling Center. Men’s doubles and singles hit the lanes first in the afternoon with women’s doubles and singles on Thursday morning.
The team events start Thursday afternoon and conclude Friday.
Last year, the Triton women scored their first team title, joining the men, who have two national titles under head coach Gregg Haden. Along with Iowa Central, the women’s field will also include teams from Ancilla, Barton, Hawkeye, Iowa Western, Jackson, Kellogg, Kirtland, Mid Michigan, Muskegon, Schoolcraft and St. Clair County.
“We have high hopes for both teams,” Haden said. “They have what it takes, but it’s just about who shows up on any given day.”
Iowa Central recorded a total of 12,157 to top Barton, which was the most for a single tournament since 2017. Toni Hansen placed second overall and returning bowlers Allison Christenson and Madison ross were named All-American.
Christenson and Ross will compete alongside Korrissa Johnson, Cassadey Lee, Olivia Nolte, Leah Sanck and Samantha Wangen this season.
The women crowned an individual national champion in 2014 in Dawn Blomker in singles and a doubles title in 2019 by Casey Brandau and Neva Waidelich.
“Our schedule prepares us for these kinds of meets,” Haden said. “There’s a lot of pressure that goes into it and those that handle the pressure, rise to the top.”
The men’s field boasts Iowa Central, Ancilla, Barton, Bryant & Stratton, Corning, Eire, Hawkeye, Highland, Iowa Western, Jackson, Kellogg, Mid Michigan, Muskegon, Rock Valley, Schoolcraft and St. Clair County.
After winning the 2019 title, the Triton men finished second to Rock Valley. Iowa Central has finished in the Top-4 on the men’s side at every championship since 2013.
Raymond Wiegand, who has had a strong spring, returns after placing third last year. Joining him will be Kamrin Chizek, Justin Graves, Nathan Hansen, Jacob Kraft, Jordan Pelant, Mason Stokes and Dale Weaver.
Chizek was 10th overall last season at nationals.
Iowa Central has crowned two all events champions in Alec Dudley and Brandon Freese along with a doubles champion in Alec and Ryan Dudley.
This marks the Tritons’ ninth appearance, which is second only to Corning and Muskegon among those in the field this season. Those two teams have qualified 11 times.