NEW GLASGOW — Members of the host Heather Lanes Bowling youth team are basking in the glory of a senior girls’ championship.
Amy Nicholas, Sara Hill and Chloe Martell combined to win the division on Saturday during the day-long Atlantic Youth Bowling Championships.
Anxiety at the start gave way to ecstasy at the end for the trio.
“It was stressful but I had a really fun time with my teammates,” Nicholas said.
“It was stressful at first but it got better as I blocked out the scores,” said Hill, who noted Heather Lanes retains its wooden floors whereas other bowling alleys have replaced their wood with synthetic materials.
“It made it better to be bowling at our own bowling alley,” she said. “We like wood.”
Martell appeared unfazed by the pressure of the competition. “I wasn’t really nervous,” she said. “It seemed natural.”
Laurel Goodwin coaches the team and headed the host organizing committee.
“It probably exceeded our expectations,” she said, noting the bantam girls and senior boys who were runners-up at the event.
“It was quite a project.”
Hosting the Atlantics stemmed from Heather Lanes rejoining Atlantic youth bowling last year after an absence of more than 20 years.
“It’s great to be hanging another banner and it was nice to have it at home,” she said.
The Atlantic Youth Championship alternates between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, so it will be two years before a Nova Scotia bowling alley can host the event.
Goodwin echoed the senior girls’ preference for bowling on wood.
“Wood is old school,” she said. “Synthetic is hard to bowl on, but it’s getting harder to repair the wood lanes. We’ve been able to keep up with it. Lanes are refinished every year.”
The lanes were transported from their previous location at the West Side Plaza. One of the tricks being used now is to turn the lanes end-to-end to help them last longer. Two lanes were tried that way and it appears to have worked, she said.
To plane the wood and refinish it means the nails will eventually be exposed, and either wood or synthetic options are expensive.
From left: local senior girls’ gold medalists Amy Nicholas, Sara Hill and Chloe Martell hold the Nova Scotia flag. (Goodwin photo)