Prairie High School senior Lilly Bash won the individual 3A Washington Interscholastic Activities Association State Bowling Championship in Tacoma on Feb. 3, after she placed first out of 90 bowlers.
Bash, who has been bowling since she was 8 years old, was the first student to bring home the title for Prairie High School.
“It feels pretty good. I’m really excited about it,” said Bash. “It feels unreal to be a state champion.”
Bash scored 781 pins after playing four games at the tournament, said her mother and Prairie High School bowling coach Rhonda. In a typical year, bowlers play six games during the state tournament over a two-day span, but because of COVID-19 policies the format changed to four games in one day.
Bash developed an interest in the sport when she was young after she spent time watching her sister bowl. Her focus mainly landed on soccer and tennis during her younger years, but that changed once she got to high school.
“I was playing other different sports and had more of a focus on that at the time,” she said. “But once I started … bowling more often, I just started to like it a lot more and kind of fell in love with the sport. Once I was hooked on it, I started taking it seriously and it started growing from there.”
Rhonda said she was amazed when her daughter pulled off the win.
“I really didn’t have expectations for what she was going to accomplish other than I just wanted her to show up and do the best ‘her’ that she could do, and she did,” said Rhonda. “I’m just very excited that she was able to show up and do what she needed to do.”
Bash previously competed at the state championship during her freshman year and placed second at that time.
“She’s been there with the team before, but never really at the individual level,” Rhonda said. “As a matter of fact, after we got done, she shot a 221 for her fourth game and I gave her a hug, and she said, ‘did I place or something?’ I was like ‘you won the whole thing,’ because we knew she was leading after the second game.”
Rhonda said her daughter was just “there to bowl” and didn’t want to know how she was doing during the games so she could keep her focus on the lanes.
“(Lilly) didn’t know she was that high up and she wasn’t sure where she was at, but once she noticed she was never called until after second place was called, that’s when she started to realize she won,” Rhonda said.
After high school, Bash plans to attend Washington State University in Vancouver to study sociology.
Rhonda describes Bash as an “active, easygoing kid.”
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