Wayland’s Urben wins D2 state bowling title
If Wayland senior Sydney Urben was going to win the Division 2 singles girls’ bowling state championship, she was going to have to go through Flint Kersley to do it.
And so she did.
After posting a 366-359 win over second-seeded Barbara Hawes from Flint Kearsley in the semifinals, Urben found herself facing top-seeded Imari Blond from Flint Kearsley in the finals. And thanks to a strong start in the first of two games, the third-seeded Urben posted the 409-356 win to claim the first bowling state title school history.
Bowling for a state championship was nothing new for Urben. She reached the state finals as a sophomore two years ago, falling to Hannah Ploof of … you guessed it, Flint Kearsley.
“My mindset was it’s my last time I’m ever going to be here,” Urben said in an interview with the Michigan High School Athletic Association. “(Winning a state title) has been my goal since my sophomore year. I couldn’t get it done (last year). This time I gave myself a chance just by making the cut. So I might as well finish strong, you know?”
Urben was able to finish her high school bowling career strong largely because she was able to start strong in the finals.
Recording strikes in each of the first four frames of the first game against Blond, Urben went on to claim the 225-171 win to build up a substantial cushion. And while Blond did win game two by a 185-184 margin, it wasn’t nearly enough to stop Urben.
“It gave me a lot of confidence because I knew Imari is a really good bowler,” Urben said of her strong start. “I knew she would be tough competition. I knew I had to hang with her, and I did.”
In her semifinal win over Hawes, Urben won the first game 172-161 and lost the second game 198-194, giving her the seven-pin victory.
Urben opened up play in the championship bracket by downing Sparta’s Danielle Hiemstra 361-350 (203-188 and 158-162) before upending Carleton Airport’s Makayla Souva 433-374 (210-193 and 223-181). That set up the semifinal match with Hawes.
Urben earned her spot in the finals with a total of 1,172 in the six-game qualifying round. That matched Hawes for second behind Blond’s top score of 1,207.
Urben’s scores in qualifying were: 193, 242, 219, 155, 171 and 192.
Fellow Wayland senior Marissa Bruinsslot also participated in qualifying, but failed to secure one of the top 16 spots as she finished 23rd with a score of 1,026.
Bruinsslot’s scores were: 174, 168, 171, 179, 166 and 168.
Flint Kearsley went on to win the Division 2 team title for the fifth straight year.