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News / Sports / Prep Sports

Fort Vancouver secures its first team berth to state bowling tournament since 2014

Trappers takes third place, R.A. Long second at 2A district tournament in Longview

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: January 26, 2024, 5:36pm
3 Photos
Fort Vancouver bowlers, from left, Annabelle Wiley, Lacey McHan and Lilly Peschka celebrate along with coach Lauryn Heying (far right) after placing third at the 2A girls bowling district tournament at Triangle Bowl in Longview on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.
Fort Vancouver bowlers, from left, Annabelle Wiley, Lacey McHan and Lilly Peschka celebrate along with coach Lauryn Heying (far right) after placing third at the 2A girls bowling district tournament at Triangle Bowl in Longview on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

LONGVIEW — Fort Vancouver has had an outstanding girls bowling program for many years.

But on Friday at Triangle Bowl, the Trappers did something they haven’t done since their coach was in high school.

After near misses in the past two years, the Trappers advanced to the state tournament as a team.

Led by seniors Lacey McHan and Lilly Peschka, the Trappers rallied in the baker games to place third in the team standings at the 2A district tournament.

“This feels so liberating,” McHan said. “I’m just so excited. I’ve bowled since my seventh-grade year of school, and I’m just happy that I get to go (to state) with these people that I’ve had by my side for years.”

The last time Fort qualified for state as a team was in 2014, when the Trappers’ head coach, Lauryn Heying, was a junior. Fort also placed second at district in the spring of 2021. Normally, that would have been good enough to reach state, but no state tournaments were held that year.

Coming out of the individual games in the morning, Fort found itself in fourth place, trailing Columbia River for the coveted third-place spot that would ensure a state team berth.

But the Trappers are not a team of individual standouts, but one of depth, which makes them particularly strong in the baker games.

“I feel like we had some ups and downs, but we really brought it together and fought in the bakers,” McHan said.

Fort pulled ahead of River after the second of seven baker games before the Rapids reclaimed a narrow lead after the third game.

But the Trappers pulled back ahead in the fourth game and never gave it back.

“We were down in fourth and we fought every single step of the way through those baker games to get into qualify,” McHan said.

McHan was the Trappers’ top individual placer, finishing eighth with a 535 three-game series. Peschka was 13th at 514. But all of the Trappers made contributions.

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“Everybody has brought so much to this team this year,” McHan said. “I’m just so happy to call them my team.”

Fort finished ahead of River 3,590 to 3,540 for third place. R.A. Long was second at 3,731, and W.F. West claimed the team title at 3,822.

Savanna Hoyt-Siler of W.F. West was the individual district champion with 606 series. River’s Pax Marino placed third at 563, and teammate Sydney Rehberg was sixth at 543.

Next up is the 2A state tournament, which is next Wednesday and Thursday at Bolero in Tukwila.

“Honestly, we just wanted to make sure we qualified for state, and we made it there,” McHan added. “So we get to keep on fighting next week. … We’re just going to enjoy the experience, in every possible way.”

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