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Conaway sets Great Bend bowling team record
High school bowling
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Dakota Conaway broke a Great Bend High School bowling record, rolling a 777 series during Saturday’s Great Plains High School Invitational Bowling Tournament.
Conaway bowled games of 259, 279 and 239 during match play at Northrock Lanes in Wichita.
“I was just like, ‘Oh my God. Wow,’” Conaway said of his reaction after he broke the record. “See that a lot of hard work pays off, but then I wasn’t really focused as much on the record. My goal this year is to be a better team player instead of being just one guy. We have six or seven guys out there that are just phenomenal that could break the record.
“If they don’t, that’s great. If they do, it’s even better having that to push us.”
Both the girls and the boys qualified for the Bakers format second round after match play and 24 Bakers format games. Both teams were seeded No. 7 out of the top eight teams.
Conaway said that while the competition was happening, he wasn’t aware that he was close to breaking the previous record of 756, which was set by Tyler Jones last year at the Class 5A regional meet.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really like, focused on my score,” Conaway said. “I was more focused on what we were doing, but other than that, it’s great to set the record. Hopefully one of the teammates here will break it, so we can just keep pushing each other to stride better and better.
“I mean, I knew I was getting up there, but I didn’t really focus on it. It’s better to do that instead of focus on it and try to be perfect.”
Conaway’s best game in competition was a 289 that he bowled in Joplin, Mo., though it was not a part of a high school competition. He said that he has bowled a perfect game before, though it was during practice.
The Panthers, who are 7-0 head-to-head and 14-7 in the Western Athletic Conference, finished with a combined 3,107 after the match portion of competition. They are in first place in the conference.
“It was evident from the start that Dakota got the line figured out right off the bat,” GBHS head coach Mike Perry said. “He was just striking. Eric Ruiz and him are pushing the top average of the WAC. Eric and he just push each other. Eric was sick, too (on Saturday). He had a 103 fever on Sunday.
“When you’re sick, you aren’t always going to get the best out of everyone, but I couldn’t have asked anything more on the boys side. They played well as a team.”
The Great Bend boys lost in the first round of the finals to Wichita Campus, losing the best-of-three match in three games.
The Lady Panthers are 5-1, 14-7 and combined for 2,617 pins in match play.
“Erin (Bowers) is still sore coming out of that car crash over Christmas, and Maddie Roach has been battling Mono, so we were really down,” Perry said. “That’s a lot of games to bowl on Saturday, but the girls hung together. I couldn’t have asked any more. A tournament like that is about coming together as a team, and you could definitely see that we did that.”
The girls lost to Buehler in the first round of the finals in two games. They are currently in second place in the conference behind Garden City.

Great Plains High School Invitational

At Wichita
Northrock Lanes


Great Bend match play results

Erin Bowers, 158-202-223 — 583; Miranda Hejny, 180-150-203 — 533; Jacy Quade, 179-157-192 — 528; Maddie Roach, 169-185-147 — 501; Kelli Kirmer, 135-168-169 — 472; Sterling McAllister, 175-107-122 — 404
Great Bend match play results

Dakota Conaway, 259-279-777; Eric Ruiz, 204-192-234 — 630; Kolt Ramey, 200-209-214 — 623; Mark Lang, 205-146-193 — 544; Jeff Meitler, 157-190-186 — 533; Daniel Herrman, 151-191-171 — 513