It was a special way to finish off a great career.
With her score of 511 last weekend at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl, Eastwood senior Hannah Cook finished 33rd out of 102 bowlers at the Division II state tournament.
Cook bowled a 158-161-192 to finish her prep career, one that saw help the Eagles win four league titles while dominating competition. In fact, Eastwood had a streak of 59 consecutive victories that was only recently snapped.
“It’s been a fantastic (run),” Cook said. “Not many athletes can say that they went four years with only three losses. My goal every year was to get to state and it was overwhelming that I made it this year.
“I put in hours of practice with my coach during the week and I practiced on the lanes Friday night to get a feel for the conditions and the atmosphere. I did my best dealing with the nerves of being at state.”
Cook had a 175.6 average, a high game of 234 was a medalist in three matches this season, and she earned first team honors in the Northern Ohio Buckeye Conference and the Northwest Ohio Bowling Conference tournament. She earned first team honors in the NOBC her junior season, too.
Eastwood coach Jay Young, who’s been with the program since its inception eight years ago, says Cook has unique abilities that help her exceed on the lanes.
“Physically, she throws a much more powerful ball,” Young said. “She’s more focused and is mentally tougher. If she was a freshman and things weren’t going well, she’d get down a little. But it’s different now.”
In those eight years, Young’s teams have won the league title every year. He also credits this year’s group with having a 3.78 grade-point average.
“It’s something I’m very proud of,” Young said.
Young, who is an assistant with the softball team that advanced to the Division III state tournament last spring, has a daughter, Makayla, who currently bowls at Bowling Green State University for a team currently ranked 14th in the nation.
“He is an awesome coach who is extremely knowledgeable and talented himself,” Cook said. “He is an amazing coach with his talent and knowledge of the game and he’s molded me into the bowler I am today.”
Young’s high point as a bowling coach came in 2009 when he led Eastwood to the state championship.
“I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by some great kids.”
For many, bowling is a leisure activity, but for hard core bowlers, the sport is more about technique and fundamentals.
“Bowling has become a technical and scientific sport,” Young said. “There are different kinds of bowling balls, different oil patterns and distances. Understanding that is something our kids have the advantage of. The kids buy into that and they understand the intricacies. Hannah is starting to understand that.
“The ball is coming in on an axis. There is a tilt on the ball. (The ball) is entering the top pin on an angle that is more conducive to knocking down more pins. The idea is to get the ball hooking into the pins. It’s the most efficient way to get strikes.”
“It’s a game of angles,” Cook said. “When you throw the hook, it brings the ball into the pocket with a better angle to get a strike.”