YHS bowler finishes high school career with second-straight state trip

Hunt finished nearly 20 spots higher than last year


One of Yelm High School’s most accomplished athletes doesn’t call the gridiron or the hardwood home.

Miranda Hunt, the Tornados top bowler, dominates the bowling alley, proving her skills at the 3A state championships from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3 in Tukwila for the second season in a row.

Out of 100 bowlers, Hunt finished 21st with a 160 average, 19 spots better than her 40th-place finish at last year’s state championships.

In her outing at districts on Jan. 27, Hunt didn’t think she would qualify after her first two games. In her final game, with a trip to state on the line, she delivered a memorable performance, opening up the game with five-straight strikes and a 200 score.

She thanked first-year head coach Averie Ford for helping her return to the stage as a senior.

“She helped me learn more about the sport and how different parts of it will affect your game, how what you wear affects you and the equipment you have affects your game,” said Hunt, who added that she has bowled since she was 6 or 7 years old.

Ford was surprised at how calm Hunt was while competing at state, although the senior said she knew what to expect having competed on the stage last year.

“She’s cool and collected. I didn’t see stress with her at all. She was just chilling,” Ford said of Hunt. “I don’t think the stress really got to her. If it did, she played it off really well, which says a lot for who she is.”

Ford said she knew early in the season that Hunt could qualify for state based on how she carries herself in the bowling alley.

“I can coach her, and I can talk to her differently because she’s at a different level, and I saw that from day one,” she said. “She’s just a hard worker. She would grab a house ball and get up there and work on her release without me saying anything. She can self-critique, which is maturity that shows she is a very seasoned bowler.”

Hunt has bowled all four years at YHS and said that her attitude was the biggest point of growth from her freshman year to her senior year. She is excited to move on to the next chapter, whatever that may be.

“I’m not sure where I’m going to go yet. I’d love to continue bowling. We’ll see what it brings,” she said.

The Yelm bowling team finished with a 4-10 record in Ford’s first season, but she said that the team grew both in skill and in chemistry over the course of the year.

“Overall, the bond was really good. We were always talking and giggling and having fun on the way home,” Ford said. “We had a very quiet team, but toward the end, they had cheers that they practiced on the bus. I think that makes a big difference.”

Ford anticipates the team will be strong next year with current sophomore Katelyn Wisniewski, who performed well at districts, taking a leading role.

“I have a good feeling she’ll make it to state next year,” Ford said.