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Okotoks youth bowlers strike national silver in tiebreaker

Millennium Lanes team wins national medal for third year in a row

A change in format, 21 games and a nervy tiebreaker finish.

It’s safe to say the Millennium Lanes Okotoks team of Elizabeth Honish and Elyssa de Boer, along with coach Kyle Honish, rolled with the changes and thrived under the spotlight of a tiebreaker to take home the silver medal in the bantam girls doubles at the Youth Bowl Canada Fivepin Nationals on May 8.

“Going into the tiebreaker, the message was very clear,” said coach Honish. “Look at it this way, did you expect to be here when the season started? No. Look what you’ve accomplished in the eight months and you at the very worst are the fourth best pair in the country. Win or lose, look at the experience you’ve had, look at the friends you’ve made.

“They just went out and anything they struggled with over the course of the three days didn’t emerge in that last game, they just went out and played their game.”

The Newfoundland team of Sharla McGuire and Mia O’Keefe won gold and clinched the title with five games left to play in the competition.

The Alberta, B.C. and Manitoba teams squared off in a three-way tiebreaker with each team playing at the same time and the highest scores determining second, third or fourth.

“It was very nerve-racking,” Elyssa said. “We had a lot of cheering us on so we felt like we could do it.

“It was really fun and I was so happy when I got second.”

In the tiebreaker, Elizabeth secured a score of 239, her season best score, with Elyssa adding 150 as the team scored a 389 to best Manitoba by 18 points for silver.

“Elizabeth said it really well, she said, ‘I’ve never thought one building could be so loud,’” added coach Honish. “It was very loud, very intense, stressful at time, adrenaline filled at times and it was just really fun to be part of.”

The 2024 nationals saw the institution of a round-robin format with 21 games and the best records determining the finish, replacing the stepladder and playoff format of the past few seasons.

The event was held at two locations, in the nation’s capital and in neighbouring Gatineau.

For Elizabeth, the goal at the beginning of the season was to get a fifth medal in nationals in three years with the previous two iterations also featuring a mixed team event.

With the silver, she finished with a 100 per cent rate of national medals in her three seasons at the bantam level.

“I knew we had a good chance of winning or getting a medal,” Elizabeth said. “And I really wanted to get a medal.”

Elizabeth won silver and bronze in the doubles event over the past two seasons with former partner Elisha Delehay, who aged out of bantam following the 2023 campaign.

Elyssa proved to be another excellent partner in the duo’s first season together.

“It was a little hard, but I got through it,” said Elyssa of her first experience at nationals. “We didn’t give up and we tried our best.”

The Alberta and Newfoundland team traded jerseys following the event and will be keeping in contact, with community one of the enduring elements of the tight-knit sport.

The Okotoks team was treated to hospitality around the nation’s capital from its former competitors at the past two events from Quebec.

“To me that can’t be beat,” the coach added. “And that’s what sport is all about.”

Remy Greer

About the Author: Remy Greer

Remy Greer is the assistant editor and sports reporter for and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact [email protected]
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