If she wasn’t so preoccupied, Kirsten Moore might have been better off staying in bed.
The standout Tallmadge sophomore was ill and not exactly full of energy.
Of course, staying home was out of the question. That’s because Moore had to make a trip to the state capital for a chance at history.
Perhaps she would have posted higher scores if her health didn’t abandon her.
Nonetheless, the talented 15-year old isn’t complaining.
That’s because she finished her spectacular season as one of the best bowlers in Ohio.
Moore shared runner-up honors with Troy’s Jenna Stone after rolling a 681 series at the Division I state tournament, which took place Saturday at Wayne Webb Columbus Bowl.
She rolled games of 258, 245 and 178, respectively. Twinsburg senior Tyahana Elder placed first out of 104 bowlers with a 729 series.
Since Moore was extremely congested during the tournament, she may have been a little weary during her third game.
"I think fatigue did play a little part in my last game," she said. "I was sick the entire weekend.
"The main thing that caused the last game was the sports shot that was on the lane. I didn’t make the adjustments that I needed to, which is something I plan to keep working on."
Moore, who bowls with one hand and uses a four-step approach, was referring to the patterns of lane oil that reduce the effectiveness of modern bowling balls. To make things more challenging for the bowlers, sports shots were used throughout the postseason.
Prior to her third game, Moore did just about everything right. As a result, she put herself in a good position to challenge for the title.
"Kirsten Moore's performance was outstanding," Lady Blue Devils assistant coach Cindy Elliott said. "She just lit up the lanes.
"Kirsten is a no-nonsense type of young lady. She's there for business and to get things done. She's not only a talented bowler, but also academically inclined in a world where some youth just do enough to get by."
To get strikes, it’s absolutely essential for the ball to go in the right direction. Let’s just say Moore practically hypnotized her ball in the first two games.
"Kirsten was on fire the first two games," Tallmadge head coach Scott Krainess said. "She buried the ball in the pocket every frame. She had the best two-game set of any of the participants."
Moore’s illness was her latest bout with adversity in a season that tested her patience throughout the winter.
She also had to miss some matches due to a forearm injury.
Despite these obstacles, Moore, who was the team’s top bowler last season, persevered and put up large numbers throughout the winter.
"This season was definitely better than last year for me," she said. "I averaged higher and did better during the matches and tournaments.
"The one downside to the season was my injury, which I think played a huge part in the times where I did not do as well as I wanted to."
Although she took some matches off, the injury had been hindering her for quite some time.
"It was probably around the end of August or start of September last year," Moore said. "My arm hurt for a couple months into the start of the season before I finally went to the doctor. I was told that I may have a stress fracture.
"If I didn’t take any medicine, I got tired and my arm was really bothering me toward the end of the match or tournament. My scores reflected that.
"I don’t think it played with my mind, but physically, it did hurt my game because I had to take time off to try and let it heal, which meant I couldn’t practice."
Spending significant time on the lanes is a family affair for Moore. Her cousin, Austin, a 2017 graduate, once bowled a 300 game.
Moore’s father, Rich, a Tallmadge assistant coach, introduced Moore to the sport when she was 4 years old.
"My dad was always into bowling, so he got me started young," she said. "Austin and I have grown up close like siblings. The competition between us did help both of us improve."
Moore fell in love with the game early, but she didn’t start finding her niche in the sport until several years later.
"I didn’t start to become a better bowler until maybe three or four years ago," she said. "That’s when I started to take the sport really seriously.
"I started to do tournaments like Pepsi and JTBA (Junior Tournament Bowlers Association) and my dad was helping me out a lot more."
Moore had plenty of company in Columbus. Both the Tallmadge girls and boys teams qualified for the state tournament for the first time in school history. Both teams finished 11th.
"It was really cool," Moore said. "After sectionals, I really believed that we had a chance to go to states as long as we kept ourselves together. The fact that both the boys and girls went at the same time is a little insane to me."
Once the tournament was over, Moore could not return home and get some much-needed rest.
That’s because she had a lot more bowling to do. Again, the illness didn’t faze her.
Moore won her first JTBA title at the Henson Bowling Academy Welcome Back Open Sunday at the High Performance Lanes Bowling Center in Columbus.
She rolled games of 187, 152, 205, 223 and 173, respectively, to qualify in the age 15-and-younger girls division.
The field was then cut by 50 percent and she bowled three more games. After those games, Moore was in second place with a total of 1,441.
Moore concluded the tournament in style by defeating the top seed 170-164 in the championship game.
"It was a big weekend for her," Krainess said. "If she had any doubts before this weekend, she now knows that she is one of the best bowlers in the state of Ohio.
"She will lead a rebuilding team next year as we lose our strong group of varsity seniors in Emily (Kiss), Hailey (Cool), Aubrey (Zalar) and Kristina (Beckwith)."
Don’t expect Moore to stay too far away from the lanes even though her high school season is over.
The teenager plans to spend lots of time at the alleys throughout the year.
"I do leagues with friends of mine at Spins Bowl Kent," Moore said. "I’m starting a sports pattern league soon with someone from my high school team.
"I also do JTBA tournaments, which can be in Toledo or near home. I started doing two huge tournaments — Teen Masters and Junior Gold. Those tournaments can be all over the U.S. This year, Teen Masters is in Las Vegas and Junior Gold is in Dallas."
Thanks to her stellar performances in Columbus, it’s safe to say no moment will be too big for the precocious sophomore.
And if she continues to make strides, Tallmadge could have its first state bowling champion ever in the next two years.
"I’ve always continued to improve with the help of my dad," Moore said. "As I saw my average improve over the years, I realized I could become a really good bowler if I worked hard enough."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.