DEKALB — Rochelle senior bowler Katie Dummer walked away from the lanes after her fifth game at the IHSA Maple Park (Kaneland) Sectional this past Saturday.
Looking to regroup for what may have been the final game of her high school career, Dummer went into the crowd and sat down with her father Steve. As the Lady Hub standout and future Highland Cougar waited for the other teams and individuals to change lanes, her father told her to leave everything on the lanes and show the other bowlers what she was made of.
Those words were powerful enough to help Dummer jump from 11th to fourth place in the standings after the sixth and final game. When all the pins were tallied, Dummer's 1,260 series was good enough to qualify her for the IHSA State Meet at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford this coming Friday and Saturday.
It's the first time Dummer has made the state tournament, and after having her season ended twice over the last three years at the sectional level, Dummer was both ecstatic and emotional to finally break through her sectional wall.
"I'm so thrilled that I pushed through and squeezed my way into state qualifying," Dummer said. "I knew I was fluctuating throughout the day... I just kept thinking that I barely missed it and then they I lost it when they announced that I was going to state. I bawled my eyes out after a few pictures and I gave coach Joey [Johanning] and my parents a hug. It was a crazy feeling that I'll never forget."
Dummer was one of two Rochelle bowlers competing in the sectional tournament at Mardi Gras Lanes this past weekend. Senior Carlie Elder totaled 1,194 pins with a high game of 244 to finish 27th individually and tied for 16th among at-large individuals. Dummer placed 13th individually and fourth among at-large bowlers after shooting a series-high 244 in her final effort of the day.
"My mindset was on state but I knew I had to stay calm and focus on my shot," Dummer said. "Joey kept us calm and in focus. I'm going to focus on my mental game and practice up at The Cherry Bowl at least once this week."
The IHSA State Meet begins Friday, with the top individuals advancing to the second half of competition on Saturday.