Tyahana Elder has always been a threat in post season bowling and the Twinsburg senior is no stranger to the bright lights of the state championships. She has been to three of them.
Capturing an individual state title in her final campaign capped a storybook season for Elder.
Elder was one of two Twinsburg bowlers represented in the 12th annual state bowling championships.
Along with boys junior Kaleb East, Elder qualified for the state championships for Twinsburg March 9 and 10 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus.
For Elder, the veteran just went out and had fun. In doing so, she became a state champion.
“I am extremely proud of both Kaleb and Tyahana for their hard work this season,” said Twinsburg head coach Anthony Byrd.
“They both had good practices during the week leading up to the state tournament with Tyahana bowling her first perfect game (a 300),” said Byrd.
It could have been a sign of what was to come for Elder.
Elder captured a first bowling state championship in Division I action as she was the lone girl to surpass 700 with a 729 series.
Byrd was elated with the title and the first-team All-Ohio status for Elder as well as the Tiger program.
Elder dominated the field of bowlers to claim top honors.
In the first game at states, Elder came out strong with the tournament-best game of 268.
Tallmadge standout sophomore Kirsten Moore placed in a tie for second-place at 681 with Troy High senior Jenna Stone (213-246-222).
Elder beat Moore, who was in the lead after back-to-back games of 258 and 245.
However, in the third game, Elder bested Moore with a 248-178 advantage. Elder had the high games in the tourney in both the first and third games.
This was a third straight state tournament berth for Elder, which is a school record.
In Stone, Elder beat the Troy record holder, who once had a 751 series in her career.
“Friday night at practice and again as we arrived at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, Tyahana talked about her past failures at the state tournament,” said Byrd, alluding to Elder’s perceived shortcomings at two previous state berths.
“Tyahana stated right before warm ups that she needed to get out of her own head and just enjoy the moment,” added the coach.
“I said to her that those failures were in the past and dwelling on them would only hold you back,” added Byrd.
Last winter, Elder placed 37th in Ohio with a 529 series and a high of 190. Two years ago, she was 29th with a series of 577. She had a high game of 222 in 2016.
“Tyahana did a great job,” said Byrd.
Meanwhile, this was the second state meet appearance for East. Byrd was also thrilled with East, who finished 16th overall in Division I action in Columbus.
East, who had a series of 634, started with a strong roll of 243 in game one and then followed with a 136.
In the third game, the talented East excelled with a 255, which was second overall in the entire tourney for the third game.
The top five placers earn All-Ohio status. The field average for boys tournament was 186.80 pins.
“This was Kalebís second trip to the state tournament,” said Byrd. “As a freshman, he placed 49th in Ohio with a 604 series [222, 197, 185].”
At the Austintown District Championships, East placed second overall and Elder qualified by placing third overall.
Byrd saw the girls finish in 6th place with 3,204 total pins in the 11-team Youngstown sectional at Boardman Lanes and the boys placed fourth and just missed districts as a team with a pin total of 3,846.
East won a sectional championship with a superb 748 high series. He had huge games of 223, 257, and 268. Elder had a runner up 588 series ñ with games of 238, 191, and 159.
Elder was the Bowler of the Year in the Suburban League while East was a first-team all-league pick.
For the Lady Tigers, senior Taylor Paoletti made second-team All-Suburban League and earned the Ohio High School Bowling Coaches Association Academic All Ohio Award. Sophomore Cassandra Burgess was an honorable m all-league pick.
Junior James Pope was also honorable mention All-Suburban League.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_RPC