As an A-student, Mikayla Jarvis is a good communicator, a good thinker.
And, she’s discovered, that is contrary to being a good bowler. Now, in her third year on Timberline High School’s bowling team, Jarvis has learned that it’s best not to think as she’s releasing her bowling ball, aiming for a strike.
And not think about her mechanics or technique.
“Basically, if I’m working mechanics, it’s during practice,” Jarvis said.
It’s just grab and go. And, she’s also discovered another important factor for victory. Don’t get hurt. Last year at the state tournament, Jarvis, who averages 160 a game, strained a tendon in her right hand, her bowling hand.
“I just released the ball wrong,” Jarvis said. “This area in my hand along my ring finger swelled up.”
She injured her hand during her fifth game at state, and with one game remaining she wasn’t sure she could finish. Releasing the ball was incredibly painful.
“But my coaches and my family were there, and they really encouraged me to do what I wanted to do,” Jarvis said. “I wanted to keep on going. They helped me adjust the way I was bowling, and I just continued to bowl. It was really cool to have their support.”
Last year, Jarvis was the only Timberline bowler to advance to state. This year Blazer coach Kelsey Rees, who has taken over as head coach for long-time coach John Wilson, is hoping Jarvis has some company. Brianna Arboine, Hailey Dhanens and Alexys Detlessen are all state hopefuls.
Arboine is relatively new to bowling. She didn’t start bowling until last year, her junior year.
“I just wanted to be involved in a winter sport,” she said.
Her prod was simple. “I had a couple of friends on the bowling team,” Arboine said. “They were like, ‘Hey do bowling with us.’ I said okay.”
She’s caught on fast. She’s averaging 120 and has a game-best 170.
“When I’m bowling I have to calm down, take it slow and see my marks and just aim for it,” Arboine said.
Besides bowling, Arboine is also the school’s yearbook editor and treasurer for the club’s National Honor Society. “I’ve been with the yearbook since my sophomore year,” Arboine said. “That was also an impulse thing.” One day she wants to be a doctor.
Like Jarvis, Dhanens is also a Running Start student, attending South Puget Sound Community College.
“I felt I wasn’t challenged quite enough in the classes I was taking,” Dhanens said. “So, I decided, hey if I can take the classes at the community college, which were surprisingly just as easy as a high school class, I can get college credit for it. And I get to go into college as a junior.”
Dhanens, who has rolled a personal best 178, likes seeking out challenges. In her search for a challenge, she turned out for diving on the school’s swim team as a freshman, and she turned out for cross country as a junior. Her diving experiment lasted two weeks.
“I did a dive and hit my face really hard against the water and ruptured my eardrum,” Dhanens said. “That was the end of that. I decided I didn’t want to do that again.”
Running concluded when she discovered something.
“I don’t like running,” she said with a smile. “But I did it anyway.”
While Detlessen is only a sophomore, she’s no stranger to bowling. She started bowling when she was only four. By the time she was eight, Detlessen was already bowling in a league. That makes Timberline’s home bowling alley – Aztec Lanes – a home away from home for her.
“This is where I bowled when I was four,” Detlessen said during a recent practice at Aztec Lanes. “I really like it.”
The years of playing show. With her textbook form, Detlessen has a 157 bowling average.
“My mom and my dad like me to be athletic so the only thing I’m good at is bowling,” Detlessen said.
Jarvis is drawn to bowling because of its competitive challenge and because it’s social, a meet-a-friend opportunity. And there’s one more factor. There’s no running.
“I hate running with a burning passion,” Jarvis said with a laugh. “That’s why I do bowling.”
Her disdain for running eliminates basketball and softball. But she’s found another sport she likes that doesn’t require running for her. It’s track – throwing events.
“I do discus, javelin and shot put because I like throwing,” Jarvis said. “It’s a lot of fun. And it doesn’t involve a lot of cardio.”
Yet there’s still some competition and challenge to track throwing events. Jarvis is drawn to challenges. That’s why she’s in her second year of Running Start, taking classes at SPSCC. When she graduates from high school, she’ll have two years of college credits.
“The college I want to go to is expensive,” said Jarvis, who wants to attend Northwest University and major in psychology. “My parents said if I want to go there I would need to do Running Start.”
Besides bowling and track, Jarvis still has another connection to her high school. She takes one class – Band. She plays clarinet.
“That’s where I get a lot of my high school experiences,” Jarvis said. “We go to the football games. I still get to hang around people my age.”
And she gets to bowl with her teammates, hoping to get back to state.