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Oklahoma Christian women’s bowling starts 2021 on a roll

Oklahoma Christian University’s women’s bowling team is off to a hot start in 2021. They have placed second in their first two weekends of competition, the most recent success being an impressive two days in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Hammer Lions Classic.

“I feel like we have gotten off to a really good start, and we know we can do better as well,”  junior Hannah Hayhurst said. “Second place is good, but if we just clean up some mistakes we would be in first instead.”

Team captain, Claire McDermott, spoke on the team’s early success. 

“It’s a good start but we let a lot of pins get away from us this past tournament that made the difference between first and second. That’s what we need to clean up,” McDermott said. 

Although the bowling program is only in its third year at Oklahoma Christian, the team is starting to find its groove and bring in talent.

“I feel like this recruiting class was really good and has really given us a boost,” McDermott said.

Hayhurst spoke about how the program has already grown in three years.

“I was here the first year of the program, and now the expectations are to win, not just compete and see what happens. We have really come a long way in that aspect,” Hayhurst said. 

“The entire feel of practice is much more focused.”

In the Hammer Lions Classic, Feb. 27-28, the Lady Eagles competed with the best over the course of the weekend only to be just edged out by perennial powerhouse Wichita State University in day two. 

“We knew we could hang with the best,” McDermott said. “That (tournament) proved we can beat the best.”

Oklahoma Christian Bowling had to cancel the fall portion of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they started again in the spring semester. 

“The first semester wasn’t easy, knowing all the competitions were cancelled and all we had was practice. But I think it is paying off,” Hayhurst said. 

McDermott backed up these comments.

“All that time just practicing is really proving its worth now. It gave us time to really focus on the little things,” McDermott said.

The Lady Eagles are happy where they currently stand but know they need to continue to improve.

“All second place has done is made us more hungry for that first place finish,” McDermott said. 

Hayhurst agreed with her teammate.

“We want to get first. We have gotten close, if we just clean up our spares we will be really tough to beat,” Hayhurst said.

The Lady Eagles are back in action this weekend, March 13-14, at the Jayhawk Collegiate Challenge in Lawrence, Kansas, looking for the elusive first place finish. 

“I think we have a good feeling about this weekend,” McDermott said. “We will see what happens.”

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