Last year, bowler Lauren Harrison was on the junior varsity bowling team and broke 100 at only one meet.

This year, the sole member of the Anacortes High School team, broke 100 at 11 of her matches and hit a record of 170.

“I didn’t think I would hit 170, but I did,” she said.

Those improvements came in a year not only disrupted by COVID-19 but by a change in venues. San Juan Lanes, the traditional home location for the bowling team, closed this year. Coach Teresa Syms set up practice instead and Anacortes Middle School, using a carpet lane and weighted pins and balls.

The space was limited and hard to use sometimes, Harrison said. Still, it was fun to be able to bowl, and she felt like she learned a lot.

Syms set up lane markers on the floor to practice footwork and they ran drills. Harrison said she learned a lot because of her one-on-one coaching.

Harrison said she really enjoys bowling.

“It’s really fun and interesting,” she said.

Next year, the team should also be able to hold some practices at Riverside Lanes in Mount Vernon, its new home bowling alley, Syms said.

She said she’s impressed by Harrison’s showing in the meets and that most of the teams had smaller teams this year because of changing seasons and COVID-19 restrictions.

“I am looking forward to next year, with more girls and a longer season,” Syms said.

During a meet, each bowler on the team bowls three games. When there is only one bowler, she has to bowl those games back-to-back, Harrison said.

“You just bowl, bowl, bowl,” she said. “It’s tiring.”

Syms said she was continually impressed by Harrison, who showed up every day committed to working even though she was the only team member.

“Her dedication is so inspiring,” Syms said.

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