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Harrison Central duo ready to roll at state

CADIZ — Trevor Thompson and Aleyna Runevitch know what they’ll be up against this week.

They also are confident in what they’re capable of.

The Harrison Central duo will represent the area at the Ohio Division II High School Bowling Championships, a place where local bowlers have fared well in season’s past.

No more so than last year, when Union Local’s Alberto Dunlap walked away with the state’s top prize.

Seeing that happen has given Thompson and Runevitch hope, knowing valley kids can succeed on the state’s biggest stage.

“I’m pretty excited to go back,” Thompson said.

“Hopefully, I’ll be a state champion.”

Thompson takes to the lanes Friday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, one year after Harrison Central’s boys competed there as a team. While he’ll be there as an individual this go-round, the junior knows he’ll have his entire team behind him.

“It’s not going to be the same with out the team there,” he acknowledged. “But I’m excited to be able to go back.”

And he’ll do so a bit healthier than he was last week when he claimed a district title at Sunrise Bowling Center in Zanesville. He was suffering from the flu that day, having only prepped for the event once — the night before.

Thompson is capable of big things. He rolled a 299 earlier this season. That 9 pin he left standing eats at him.

Bobbie Parkinson, the Huskies’ head coach, said Thompson has used falling short of a 300 as motivation, something that’s served him well this winter.

“He broke his own school record once, then he threw that 299,” she said. “He bowled well, slumped off, then picked it up and got serious.”

Thompson was supposed to practice earlier this week at St. Clair Lanes in St. Clairsville with Runevitch. His car, though, had other ideas, breaking down on the way. Parkinson made sure he got home safely, and Thompson still made it to practice, although at his pappy’s bowling alley, JD Lanes. It’s that type of devotion to the sport that could pay big dividends against Ohio’s best.

“I think being there before will help prepare me,” he said. “I’ll know what to look forward to.

“My main goal is just to stay calm and relax.”

Runevitch is familiar with Wayne Webb’s, too, just not as a bowler. Following the sectional tournament a few weeks back, she and her family went out to watch the PBA stop there.

“That was my strive while sitting there,” she recalled, “to make it state.”

And that’s where the sophomore will be Saturday after snagging the second and final individual berth at the district tournament

Like Thompson, Runevitch is the school record-holder for top game, having fired a 267 earlier this season. That was the high-water mark for what’s been a solid campaign for Runevitch, a New Athens girl who hails from a bowling family.

“I’m just working on my mechanics; trying not to pull the ball,” she said during a workout at St. Clair.

Reaching state was more of an achievement than some might realize. Runevitch has been battling an ankle injury all season, but has been able to pull through with the help of her teammates and coaches, she said.

“I’ve had my moments,” she admitted. “I just don’t want to over do it.”

Runevitch saw reaching state as a goal when the season started, although she knew she had to have a lot of things break her way. One of the things she think has helped her is the experience she gained last season, along with support from her teammates.

“I wouldn’t be here without them,” she said. “We made it to district as a team, and I thank them for that.”

Parkinson praised Thompson and Runevitch, saying the duo have emerged as leaders of their respective teams.

“They’ve both stepped up and taken charge when charge needed to be taken,” she said. “I can always depend on Trevor and Aleyna to bowl the best they can bowl and to pick up the team, when needed.

“It would’ve been nice to take both teams to state, but it took both teams to get (Trevor and Aleyna) to advance, so without the other kids, we wouldn’t be at this point.”

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