32 area bowlers qualify for state singles event
Thirty-two bowlers representing 12 schools from the New Orleans region have earned the right to compete in the LHSAA bowling singles championship March 31 at All Star Lanes in Baton Rouge.
In the boys division, Brother Martin senior Ashton Catalinotto ended the regular season with a 222 average, best in the region and third-highest in Louisiana.
Archbishop Chapelle sophomore Olivia Bares was the region’s top qualifier in girls singles. Her season average of 193 was fourth-highest in the state.
The Crusaders, who begin defense of their state title Tuesday with early round matches at AMF All Star Lanes in Kenner, qualified three bowlers for singles, but all rank in the top 10 in the state – Catalinotto, junior Jacob Vangilder (214, sixth) and senior Kade Chatelain (210, 10th).
Archbishop Shaw, the No. 5 seed in the team bracket, has a state-best six qualifiers in the boys singles event, led by the trio of Jonathan Arena (205), Riley Elwood (202) and Joshua Collins (200). Garrett Alello (195), Andrew Hill (188) and Alex Gaitan (181) also qualified.
Seventh-seeded Jesuit placed five bowlers in the singles field, led by seniors William Carpenter (198) and William Adams (194). Jonathan Cho (192), Joseph Anderson (189) and Preston Roark (181) also qualified.
Archbishop Rummel has a trio of qualifiers – Blake Caire (195), Matthew Fletcher (189) and Cayden Munster (186).
The rest of the region qualifiers include Slidell’s Hunter Mullen (194), Logan Cannon of Destrehan (193), Matthew Nguyen of John Ehret (186), Destrehan’s Beau Senior (183) and Beckham Lieu of Patrick Taylor (179). Bryce Shepherd of Belle Chasse is an alternate.
The top two averages in the state belong to Dutchtown teammates Preston West (238) and Ryan Beam (223). West broke his own state record for season average by a fraction of a pin. Ryan Hicks of Holy Savior Menard, who joined West in rolling a perfect game during the regular season, and Jahi Cannon of undefeated Hammond are tied for fourth with 218 averages.
Four of Bares’ Chapelle teammates also qualified in singles: Elizabeth Hamilton (175), Mia Bella Harvey (164), Alexandra Young (158) and Gabrielle Fischer (149).
Academy of Our Lady senior and Tusculum University signee Laney Sasso (175), a bronze medalist in singles in 2021, leads the other region qualifiers, which include Cabrini’s Jennifer Luna (165), Destrehan’s Bailey Ecroyd (163), De La Salle’s Amelia Haynes (158), and AOL’s Skylar Alexander (151).
The top qualifier on the girls side is Airline senior Paris Mendones, who finished the regular season with a 215 average. St. Joseph’s Academy standout Jordan Wingerter, who was second with a 204 average, is the only other bowler in the girls division with an average above 200.
Dutchtown, the No. 1 seed in the girls team bracket, qualified a record 10 bowlers in singles, led by Nebraska signee Ashtyn Yoches, whose 199 average is the third highest in Louisiana.
The field of statewide competitors with the requisite 21 games in the regular season is trimmed to the top 80 boys and top 48 girls, plus ties, for the singles championship. The cut line this year was a 177 average for boys and 149 for girls.
The singles format is undergoing a slight change for 2023. After three games, both fields will be cut to the top six for a modified stepladder finals.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…