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Cedar Rapids Kennedy bowler Kaylee Harris hopes to bring team to state with her this year
State qualifiers are next Monday
CEDAR RAPIDS — Kaylee Harris has achieved plenty in her young bowling career.
She isn’t satisfied.
A junior at Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Harris qualified for the state bowling tournament as an individual last year. She also earned first-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference (Valley) and all-Metro honors, and was named to the Class 3A East all-district team.
She’s after more in 2023. And not just for herself.
“I want to make it (to state) again this year and I just want to place higher,” Harris said. “And I definitely want to make it to state as a team because I feel like even if you go as an individual, it’s not the same when you don’t have your teammates sitting right there supporting you.”
Harris was in eighth grade the last time Kennedy made it to state as a team.
“It would be a really cool experience for me and for our team,” Harris said.
The Cougars certainly have a shot.
Kennedy ranks third in the state in score per series and fourth in score per game and per match.
“I feel like this year we’ve worked together better as a team,” Harris said. “We have a better connection and we all just really enjoy what we’re doing.”
Harris leads the Cougars, averaging 207 pins per game, good for seventh in the state. Her high game of 278 also ranks seventh.
“This year I’ve really put in more work than I have in past years,” Harris said. “My passion has just been growing for bowling.”
Following Harris are seniors Abby Hume (188) and Ariana Chesmore (182). Junior Chloe Pierce (175) also has been a regular contributor.
“Ariana and Abby have definitely had some really good games and series,” Harris said. “If I’m having a bad day, I know that I can always look up to them and count on them to help bring the team back together.”
While the top four bowlers are upperclassmen, Harris has played a role in guiding some of Kennedy’s younger players.
Freshmen Elaina Chesmore, Daisy Slater and Lily Bader have contributed to the varsity squad.
“I know the underclassmen feel like they can look up to me and always talk me if they have any questions or need some extra help,” Harris said. “I just try to put it out there at the start, saying like, ‘hey if you guys need anything like a ride to practice or have any questions, let me know.’
“I’m just very open to them. And I feel like at meets I’m trying to make sure everyone’s good and has their mind right.”
Kennedy sits second in the Valley Division. The varsity girls will compete in a state qualifier Monday at Lancer Lanes in Cedar Rapids.
The girls’ state bowling tournament will be held Feb. 21-23 in Waterloo at Maple Lanes (individual) and Cadillac Lanes (team).