Sarah Doyle of Scott County defeated Male’s Kayla Shannon 191-173 to successfully defend her individual state title in the KHSAA bowling championship Thursday afternoon at Collins Eastland.
Doyle, who will bowl collegiately at the University of the Cumberlands, became the first individual bowler of either gender to win a second state championship since the KHSAA began sponsoring the sport in the 2011-12 season. She missed the top-eight cut as a sophomore after finishing second overall to Bryan Station’s Crystal Land in 2013 as a freshman. That miss fueled a run to her first state title in 2015.
No previous girls’ champion had even made it back to the final round until she did it Thursday.
“It’s really an accomplishment to even make it here, let alone win it again,” Doyle said.
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Kaleb Miller won the boys’ individual title, edging St. Xavier’s Brandon Flora 277-268. Flora won the boys’ title in 2014.
The boys’ team competition gets underway at 7:50 a.m. Friday with the girls’ tournament to kick off at about 1:35 p.m.
A Region 7 boys’ team has won three of the previous four tournaments: Henry Clay last season and Scott County in 2012 and 2014. The Blue Devils will try to become the first boys’ champion to defend its title. Paul Laurence Dunbar qualified for its first boys’ state tournament after finishing runner-up in the regional round. Boyle County and Madison Central represent Region 8 in the field.
Pleasure Ridge Park, winners of two straight girls’ tournaments and three of the first four, isn’t in this year’s field. However, Taylor County, which won in 2013, is back along with two-time state runner-up Bryan Station.
Defenders senior Maddie Horton, who started bowling competitively in sixth grade when it was still just a club sport, finished sixth overall in the individual girls’ tournament. Horton will anchor Station as it aims to break through for its first team bowling title. She shared the motto that’s carried the team through the season, on and off the lanes.
“Focus, envision and execute.”