DES MOINES — Tayte Walker achieved a career milestone on Thursday at Air Lanes, leading the Ottumwa High School boys varsity team in scoring for the first time.
Walker rolled consecutive 200 games, including a 212 in the second game, to post a 206 average for the Bulldogs in a CIML Metro conference win over Des Moines Roosevelt. Ottumwa edged the Roughriders during individual play, opening a 157-pin lead, before pulling away during the baker rounds to finish with a total team score of 2,827 beating the Roughriders by 454 pins.
"Tayte and (freshman) Aiden Hoskins stepped in to take a turn at varsity. Our seniors have taken the lead in helping them learn the ropes. It's been a blessing for the team," Ottumwa boys bowling coach Tom Maher said. "We are still a couple guys down with bumps and bruises. Pin fall was hard to come by, but the guys kept their heads and took the match."
Mason Konrad posted the top individual score for the Ottumwa boys, rolling a 225 as part of a 405 series for the Bulldogs. Reiley Freeman, coming off consecutive meets in which the OHS senior has made bids for 300 games, rolled a 202 opening game on the way to a 401 series.
"We once again have some things to work on, like our spare percentage, but overall the score is not an indication of how well we bowled," Maher said.
The Ottumwa girls, meanwhile, posted a team score of 2,739 making a 28-pin improvement from Tuesday's home win over Dowling Catholic. Brooklyn Welch rolled a 235 second game to finish off a team-leading 425 series.
"It was kind of an uneventful meet," Ottumwa girls bowling coach Doug Techel said. "I thought the girls did pretty well at challenging themselves to stay focused."
Olivia Pilcher posted the top opening game for the Ottumwa girls, rolling a 202 on the way to posting a 371 series score for the Bulldogs. Makenzie Fischer averaged 181, Katelin Valentine posted a 167 average and Hannalee Songer edged Olivia Moughler by three total pins (315-312) after two games at Air Lanes.
"We missed way too many spares that were easy," Techel said. "I know that just about everyone could have added 40-50 more pins to their score."
Charlie Handling (351), Richard Garrett (313) and Hoskins (279) rounded out the two-game series scoring for the OHS varsity boys. Taylor King (218), Lydia Swarney (194), Jaime Hallgren (192) and Janelle Eskew (150) rounded out the scoring for the Ottumwa girls junior varsity team.
Both the Ottumwa girls (10-0, 3-0 CIML Metro) and Ottumwa boys (11-1, 4-0 CIML Metro) will have the week off before hosting their second-annual baker tournament on Saturday, Jan. 22. Action at Champion Bowl featuring fellow state contenders Keokuk, Louisa-Muscatine and Marshalltown gets underway at 1 p.m.