Athletes always try to peak at the right time leading into big contests.
Garden City High School’s Kaden Whitehurst accomplished that goal on Thursday, as he claimed the individual championship in the Class 6A state bowling tournament at Northrock Lanes in Wichita.
Whitehurst rolled a 759 for his series, eight pins better than second-place finisher Spencer Giffin, of Olathe Northwest.
The Buffalo bowled a 235 in his first game. In the second game, though, Whitehurst was perfect, rolling a 300. It was the only perfect game bowled in the tournament. In his third game, he threw a 224.
“I made a ball change and just threw the same line and it just really worked,″ said Whitehurst, who threw his first perfect game in high school competition. “It was cool to do.″
From his first ball on during the second game, Whitehurst said he felt like a 300 was within reach.
“After the first shot I thought, ‘If I can just hit my line every time, I can shoot a 300,’ ″ he said. “Every shot I buried the pins.″
Whitehurst, who was ninth as a freshman, also had games of 235 and 224.
“I knew I could win this,″ Whitehurt said. “It’s just all about confidence.″
Garden City finished in third place as a team with 3,444 for the series. Olathe East won the event with 3,618 and Derby finished second with 3,444, beating GCHS through the tie-breaker formula, 578-551.
GCHS’s Caleb Carr was the only other top-20 finisher for the Buffaloes with a 642 series. He rolled a 233 in his first game, then a 215 in the second and a 194 in his third game.
Other Garden City bowlers lifting the team to the third-place finish, and their scores, were:
• Ty Weilert finished in 28th place on the day with a 618 series. He rolled a 248 for his first game, a 226 in the second and a 144 in the final game.
• Dionicio Resendiz bowled a 179 in his first game, a 207 in the second and finished out his series with a 190 to finish in 44th place with a 576 series.
• Jayce Farr took 53rd place with a 557 series. He had a 224 in the first, then a 145 in the second and a 188 in the third game.
• Justin Erwin rounded out the scoring for the Buffaloes with a 551 series. In his first game he rolled a 213, then a 170 in the second and finished with a 168 in his third game.
On the girls side, Karly Larson led the way for the Buffaloes to also finish in third place as a team with 3,241. Haysville-Campus won the team title with 3,313 and Junction City took second with 3,243.
Larson finished in third place in the individual competition with a 681 series. She rolled a 193 in her first game, then a 240 in the second and rounded out her series with a 248 in the third.
Junction City’s Savannah Adams won the individual championship with a 772 series, and Piper Reams, of Haysville-Campus, took second with a 723 series.
Garden City’s Angelina Leeper finished the tournament in 15th place with a 590 series. In her first game, she rolled a 219, then had a 209 in the second and finished out with a 162 in the third.
Holly Bridges rounded out the top-20 performances for the Buffaloes, finishing in 17th with a 584. Bridges rolled a 226 to start her series, then a 175 for her second game and a 183 for the third.
Other GCHS bowlers to help claim the third-place team title, and their scores, were:
• Lily Leeper finished in 37th place with a 518 series. She rolled a 159 in the first game, then came back with a 169 in the second. Her best game of the series was in the third game, where she racked up a 190.
• Emily Giger rolled a 466 series to finish in 61st on the day. She had 183 in her first game, a 134 in the second and finished out with a 149 game in the third.
• Garden City’s Britney Cruz had a 423 series to finish in 67th place. She tallied a 131 in her first game, then a 156 in the second and an 136 in the third game.
The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Rick Peterson also contributed to this story.