Fenwick High School sophomore Olivia Cameron made history Feb. 17-18 at Cherry Bowl Lanes in Rockford, when she became the first girl to represent the Friars at the IHSA state girls bowling finals.

Cameron knocked down 998 pins for an average of 166.3. However, she missed the cut to the second day and finished 105th among individuals.

“It was very tough,” said Cameron of her state finals experience. “It was a lot different than the regional or sectional; there were a lot more people and a lot of noise. I didn’t expect it to be overwhelming, but I expect to be more prepared next year since I’ve been through it and now know what to do in preparation.”

While she wishes she could’ve done better at state, Cameron feels she and the Friars had a good season overall.

“I think it went very well,” she said. “It was a little challenging trying to bowl on a completely different team from last year. All the girls were beginners, and it was a little hard at first to bowl with them, but by the end of the season we found a way to bowl together and got a couple of wins.”

Cameron admits that while last year’s season was solid, she wanted to improve with a single objective in mind.

“I worked harder this year,” she said. “I had a goal of getting to state. Last year, I was just bowling and didn’t have a goal. This year, I had that goal, and I completed it.”

While focusing on her goal of going downstate, Cameron had no idea she was about to make Fenwick history. Now, it’s something she’s proud of.

“It feels good,” she said. “I didn’t expect to make history; I literally just wanted to get to state. I was shocked and surprised [to find out], but it felt good.”

Cameron hopes her success will encourage more girls at Fenwick to join the bowling program.

“I think it will,” she said. “By girls knowing that there are college scholarships available, they should look forward to bowling in order to gain one, and not just [treat it] as a recreational hobby.”

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