History was made this past weekend as the Barton Community College bowling programs hit the lanes of their inaugural season competing in the Midland Warrior Hammer Open held in Omaha and Elkhorn, Nebraska, as the Cougar men placed runner-up with the women placing ninth.
"Overall I couldn't have been more pleased with our debut," said Head Coach Mike Perry. "We've had amazing support from the community and College which has enabled us to get the program off to a great start with awesome support from our kids' parents and families, friends, and teammates that made the weekend a very fun atmosphere. Everything also couldn't have been better nor possible without the help of our volunteer assistant coach Jeff Mietler as he did an amazing job and was a valuable asset for our program, especially in juggling competition at two different sites!"
After tallying a total of 5315 pins in individual play and 2946 in the Baker rounds for a total of 8261 total pins, the Cougar men secured their spot in the eight team Sunday afternoon bracket. The seventh seeded Cougars made a strong statement in the opening round knocking off the defending NJCAA national champions Tritons of Iowa Central Community College in straight games.
The run would not halt there as Barton continued to turn heads in the semifinals rolling past NAIA 10th ranked Hastings College by another convincing pair of games to set up a bout for the Championship but Midland University was on their A-game rolling an opening 279 as the host Warriors earned the crown.
"The group of wide-eyed freshmen have progressed and become a close knit group," remarked Perry. " I'm very proud of their second place finish in competing at a very high level to beat some talented and more experienced teams."
"Team chemistry is the key to success and when you are also able to catch lightning in a bottle, this young talented group of men will be something to watch out for!"
On the women's side of things Barton finished ninth overall clearing 7424 pins in the programs first ever tournament.
After finishing with a team total of 5003 total pins, coming up just one pin shy of eighth place in the opening day of the tournament, the Cougars responded fiercely with a seventh place showing in the Baker rounds drilling 2421 pins. Unfortunately for the women, the total came up five pins short of qualifying for bracket play.
"The women competed very hard in their first collegiate tournament," Perry said. "I saw them mature over the weekend, get more familiar with each other, and come together as a team. When everything starts to click for them the sky will be the limit as they are talented with high potential.
Paving the way for the Cougars was Alexandria Newell finishing 14th overall knocking over 1092 pins while Allison Brodrick recorded a Top-20 performance of the 109 entry field finishing 18th tallying 1081 pins.
Barton will return to the lanes October 12-13 competing in the Andy B's Invitational held in Springfield, Missouri.