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Lafnear only bowler heading to states

March 02, 2011 - Advancing to team states wasn't in the cards for the varsity bowling teams when they took on the regional competition in Sterling Heights on Saturday, Feb. 26.

Much like previous results this season, the girls team fared better than the boys. The girls finished fourth with a score 3,532, 43 pins behind third place qualifier Sterling Heights Stevenson.

Oxford found themselves sitting in second place after four baker games, but back-to-back games of 166 and 136 dropped the girls in sixth.

The girls got hot in game one of regular bowling, rolling a 908 and moving into second place.

In game one, Sophomore Caitlyn Wroblewski shot a season high 196, followed by senior Alyssa Hurtado's 157 and junior Alex Logan's 153.

The firepower came out with the last two bowlers when junior Colleen Walters rolled a 200 and junior Heather Lafnear rolled a 202 to close out the game.

Oxford cooled off a little in the second game, rolling a 755 and falling back to fourth. In the third game, the Wildcats bounced back with a solid game of 859, but it wasn't quite enough as Stevenson shot a 937 in game three to take the third and final qualifying spot away from the Wildcats.

"This was truly a remarkable run by our girls," head coach JR Lafnear said. "They shot their hearts out and came up just a few pins short. The good news is that we have mostly everyone back and we'll know what to expect going into next year."

Lafnear, who was battling a knee injury she suffered earlier in the week, qualified in fifth for the state finals in Battle Creek next weekend.

After games of 216, 186 and 241, Lafnear found herself in first place. However, he knee injury started to show. She slipped to second place after a 177 in game four and would find herself in a tie for first with last year's state champ after a 159 game five.

With only a few pins separating the top four individuals, Lafnear gutted out a 148 in the final game to finish fifth.

"As a father and as a coach I couldn't have been prouder of her effort," JR said. "I wouldn't have blamed her for quitting, but I guess she knew she wouldn't. It was very inspiring to see girls and other parents from schools rooting for Heather to finish."

Wroblewski finished 32nd at individuals and Walters finished 34th.

The boys finished 12th. They were in fourth place after four games in the team baker, but faded to seventh after finishing with games of 151 and 187.

Oxford's slide continued in the three regular bowling games, with freshman Brandon Hurlburt posting the high score of the day with a 189.

The following day at individual regionals, the Wildcats failed to have a single bowler in the top 40. "We learned a lot about where we are as a team," Lafnear said.

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