The memory will last forever.
As far as the feeling, well, Kerissa Andersen hopes that lasts a long time, too.
More than a month after winning the Class 3A state bowling championship, Andersen, a sophomore from Evergreen, is still on an emotional high.
“When I came back to school the next week … some upperclassman said, ‘She’s the bowler. Give her a round of applause.’ I was kind of shocked. I blushed, obviously,” Andersen said.
Today, she realizes that the record book will always have her name listed under state champion.
“It’s still there. It’s still kind of hovering,” she said of that championship feeling. “It’s not easy to let it go.”
Actually, Andersen got a double dose of that feeling back in February. A day after her individual title, she helped Evergreen win the team championship.
With all that success, she is The Columbian’s All-Region bowler of the year.
Andersen believes in the power of positive thinking. That was her key at the state championships.
“I walked into the place knowing I was going to win,” she said.
She rolled a 224 in the first of her six individual games. She was in first place, but at the time she did not know.
But after the third game, there was a lunch break, and she knew where she stood.
“OK, I’m gong to win it. This is my day. I’m winning,” she said to herself.
Then she came back from break a rolled her worst game of the day. The competition was close. Andersen walked away from the crowd, found a pair of empty lanes, sat down and regrouped.
“Don’t let this game ruin my next games,” she told herself.
She never lost the lead. Two games later, she was the champion.
The next day, Evergreen won the team title.
“I think it’s equal,” she said of the double. “As an individual, people really look at it as ‘You did it by yourself.’ As a team, you help each other out,” Andersen said. “They both have their benefits.”
She also expects more of the same next year.
The Plainsmen want to win district as a team next year — they finished second this year — then return to conquer state.
“That’s when I’m going to defend my title,” Andersen proclaimed. “I”m going to win it again. We’re going to take the team title again. We’re Evergreen, and we’re good.”
Positive thinking can lead to some truly memorable moments.
It is a feeling Kerissa Andersen cannot get enough of on the bowling lanes.
Rest of the All-Region Girls Bowling Team
- Shannon Bliquez, Evergreen: 3A GSHL bowler of the year; 3A district champion; placed fifth at the 3A state tournament.
- Shelby Chartrand, Camas: 4A GSHL bowler of the year; 4A district runner-up; place eighth at 4A state tournament.
- Maddi Durr, Fort Vancouver: 3A GSHL first-team selection; placed fifth at 3A district; placed sixth at 3A state tournament.
- Allison Gentry, Battle Ground: 4A Greater St. Helens League first-team selection; 4A district champion, leading Tigers to team title.
- Reagan Lorey, Hudson’s Bay: 3A GSHL first-team selection; placed third at 3A district; 3A state tournament runner-up.
- Bailey Peters, Fort Vancouver: 3A GSHL first-team selection; 3A district runner-up; placed fourth at 3A state tournament.