By RICK PETERSON
WICHITA -- Under normal circumstances Seaman's high-powered boys bowling team probably wouldn't be satisfied with a third-place team finish.
But Thursday wasn't normal circumstances.
After digging itself a big hole, Bob Benoit's Vikings came storming back from eighth place in the four Baker format games to claim the third-place team trophy by three pins over United Kansas Conference rival De Soto (3,397-3,394), setting off a celebration normally reserved for titles.
"It feels real good,'' Benoit said. "We were down most of the day. When I went in to check, going into Baker we were 35 pins out of fifth and 102 out of third. I just told the boys, 'Don't give up. You don't know what's going to happen but give it all you've got and we'll see where it is when the last pin falls.'
"To come back that far to get third, that's like winning it. I'm really, really happy.''
In a completely tight field, Seaman did not have a bowler earn an individual (top 20) medal, but senior Ethan Burns shot a 643 series (215, 211, 217) to finish 24th (seven pins out of 20th) and lead three Vikings with 600-plus series.
Sophomore Dominic Figueroa shot a 623 series and sophomore Alex Prescott had a 618 while sophomore Riley Parkhurst added a 595 series, senior Braxton Moore a 590 and senior Zander White a 568.
Topeka West junior Dason Tidwell and freshman Alec Rutschmann competed in the state tournament as individuals, with Tidwell shooting a 495 series and Rutschmann a 468.
De Soto's Colby Lovegren won the individual title with a 743 series, including a final-game 279, while UKC member Piper won the team championship by a 3,522-3,474 margin over Wichita Trinity Academy.
Seaman garnered third place out of a group of five schools that were within 14 pins of each other.
Washburn Rural will compete as a team in Friday's Class 6A state tournament, with the girls bowling at 8:50 a.m. and the boys to follow at 1:40 p.m.
CLASS 5A-1A STATE BOYS BOWLING
At Northrock Lanes Wichita
Piper 3,522, Wichita Trinity Academy 3,474, Seaman 3,397, De Soto 3,394, Buhler 3,391, Eisenhower 3,388, Andover 3,383, Salina South 3,234, Hutchinson 3,203, Emporia 3,069, Kansas City Turner 2,925, Lansing 2,709.
1. Colby Lovegren, De Soto, 743; 2. Bailey Gassman, Maize South, 736; 3. Darron Spak, Piper, 732; 4. Miles Blue, Eisenhower, 727; 5. Rhett Rymanh, KC-Turner, 715; 6. Coltyn Bard, Piper, 698; 7. Trent Sheridan, Buhler, 682; 8. Aaron Dimit, Eisenhower, 679; 9. Peyton Yurisich, Leavenworth, 676; 10. Brady Longenecker, Trinity Acacemy, 674; 11. Colton Swift, Emporia, 670; 12. Jaxson Green, Hutchinson, 669; 13. Brett Blasi, Eisenhower, 661; 14. Brody Ummel, Hutchinson, 659; 15. Christopher O'Connor, Salina Central, 659; 16. Antonio Miranda, De Soto, 657; 17. Landon Kurtz, Buhler, 656; 18. Connor Jahn, Trinity Academy, 654; 19. Jack Moll, Andover, 650; 20. Landon Light, Andover, 650.
Seaman -- Ethan Burns 643, Dominic Figueroa 623, Alex Prescott 618, Riley Parkhurst 595, Braxton Moore 590, Zander White 568.
Topeka West -- Dason Tidwell 495, Alec Rutschmann 468.