By RICK PETERSON
Wednesday was the day that Washburn Rural senior bowling standout Walker Thompson and his Junior Blue teammates have been waiting for since last March -- the start of a new season.
The perennially-strong Rural team stubbed its toe in Class 6A regional competition a year ago, falling short in its bid to earn a team berth for the state tournament, and the Junior Blues are looking for redemption in 2023.
Rural got that bid off to a good start in Weddnesday's season-opening Topeka High quadrangular at Gabe Bowl, with Thompson winning the individual title with a 693 three-game series while Rural captured the team championship by a 2,616-2,517 margin over Junction City.
"I feel great, I've been looking for this for a whole year,'' Thompson said after bowling games of 235, 235 and 223 Wednesday. "Last year we got kicked out in regionals and this year I've been dying to come back.''
Rural's Geo Peoples finished second individually with a 674 series while Logan Glinka narrowly missed the top five, rolling a 625 series.
Thompson said the Junior Blues do have a collective chip on their shoulder entering '23 after the way '22 ended.
"As a team we really wanted to go to state last year but some things happened and we just weren't locked in when we got to regionals so we got bumped out,'' Thompson said. "But I feel like this year we have a good team. Most of us are coming back so I feel we're going to make another good run at it.''
Shawnee Heights finished third in the boys team standings at 2,476 while Topeka High was fourth with a 1,984 team total.
Heights' Henry Schattilly finished third individually with a 645 series while Josh Egly was fifth with a 633.
Washburn Rural's girls won the team championship by a 2,057-1,879 margin over Junction City, with Shawnee Heights (1,593) and Topeka High (1,423) finishing third and fourth.
Rural's Elizabeth Poling took top honors individually with a 532 series, while teammates Claire Ireland and Hailey Beyer finished second and third with 512 an 487 series.
TOPEKA HIGH QUADRANGULAR
At Gage Bowl
Washburn Rural 2,616, Junction City 2,517, Shawnee Heights 2,476, Topeka High 1,984.
1. Walker Thompson, Washburn Rural, 693; 2. Geo Peoples, Washburn Rural 674; 4. Henry Schattilly, Shawnee Heights, 645; 4. Torrey Lindsay, Junction City, 640; 5. Josh Egly, Shawnee Heights, 633.
Other Washburn Rural -- Logan Glinka 625, Josh Hammons 585, Austin McIntosh 548, Reece Godby 547.
Other Shawnee Heights -- Kaden Evans 600, Caden Cochrane 559, Austin Cochrane 507, Evan McGilton 452.
Topeka High -- Austin Mitchell 519, Adam Krohe 492, Johnny Patterson 487, Thomas Patterson 486, Avery Donaldson 369, Elijah Odum 357.
Washburn Rural 2,057, Junction City 1,879, Shawnee Heights 1,593, Topeka High 1,423.
1. Elizabeth Poling, Washburn Rural, 532; 2. Claire Ireland, Washburn Rural, 512; 3. Hailey Beyer, Washburn Rural, 487; 4. Ava Oentrich, Junction City, 475; 5. Janiyah George, Junction City, 471.
Other Washburn Rural -- Taylin Sakers 463, Ashley Billups 463, Gabby Martinez 409.
Shawnee Heights -- Rachel Donaldson 449, Jasmine Villalobos 403, Keira Scott 374, Kaydence Barnes 357, Alice Anderson 344, Bailey Liby 244.
Topeka High -- Choize Hysten 400, Aleshia White 367, Kayda Villanueva 361, Rylee Salts 295, Gaviena Frank 260.
Seaman girls, Burns take titles in Hayden quad
Seaman's girls bowling team swept the team and individual titles in Tuesday's season-opening Hayden quadrangular at Gage Bowl.
Seaman's girls won the team title by a 2,882-2,599 margin over Topeka West while Cheyenne Turkin won the individual championship with a 607 three-game series.
The Vikings swept the top three individual spots, with Katie Price finishing second with a 579 series and JaeLinn Thetford third with a 574.
Topeka West's Brenna Rutschmann and Megan Wood finished fourth and fifth individually, with Rutschmann bowling a 568 and Wood a 517 series.
Manhattan rallied in the four Baker format games to take the boys team championship by a 3,187-3,142 margin over Seaman, but Viking senior Ethan Burns took individual honors with a 688 series.
Topeka West's Cole Rodriguez finished third individually with a 586 series while Seaman's Dominic Figueroa finished fifth with a 564.
At Gage Bowl
Manhattan 3,187, Seaman 3,142, Topeka West 2,958, Hayden 2,503.
1. Ethan Burns, Seaman, 688; 2. Jayden Moreno, Manhattan, 626; 3. Cole Rodriguez, Topeka West, 586; 4. Nick Murph, Manhattan, 578; 5. Dominic Figueroa, Seaman, 564.
Other Seaman -- Skylar Meggison 541, Riley Parkhurst 536, Alex Presscott 536, Zander White 488.
Other Topeka West -- Josh Allen 527, Dason Tidwell 524, Alec Rutschmann 511, Richard Haug 510, Casy Ard 500.
Hayden -- Henri Pryor 503, Chase Blaser 463, Trevor Christy 454, John Strickland 446, Ryan Spindler 423, Connor Enos 359 .
Seaman 2,882, Topeka West 2,599, Hayden 2,122, Manhattan 1,877.
1. Cheyenne Turkin, Seaman, 607; 2. Katie Price, Seaman, 579; 3. JaeLinn Thetford, Seaman, 574; 4. Brenna Rutschmann, Topeka West, 568; 5. Megan Wood, Topeka West, 517.
Other Seaman -- Kayla Mize 487, Claire LaDuke 477, Laci Cole 376.
Other Topeka West -- Reagan Kell 450, Karlee Gilbreath 426, Hannah Allen 404, Jordyn Felsburg 356.
Hayden -- Emily Ireland 481, Ashley Lee 402, Emily Lee 399, Nora Allphin 360, Kinsley Reynoso 342, Jenna Henkensiefken 272.