The story of Metea Valley Athletics seems to be a similar story to that of sophomore Meredith Olef and her Mustang bowling team; starting from the bottom and rising to the top.
Metea Valley Bowler Meredith Olef talks about the journey, “It feels really, really good because we’ve always been the underdog when it comes to our athletics. We’ve always been known for our music and our academics and so, for our athletics to come up slowly, it’s awesome to see – especially being a sophomore, being able to see it develop.”
Olef started this season on junior varsity, but through sheer will and hard work, transformed herself into a state qualifier. And in doing so, became the 4th individual to make it to state in program history. “Yeah, I’m thrilled. It’s just really exciting to be one of the first for my high school – it’s ten years old this year – so it’s a huge honor,” states Olef.
The honor belongs to her and junior Alicia Anton. And the way they punched their tickets to state – dramatic to say the least. Tying each other in the sectional and then holding their breath. “Well, they said that basically we might have a roll off and then they said that it was either none of us or both of us… so when we heard Metea was going, we both knew we were going and it was really exciting,” says Anton.
Olef adds on, “With her being a junior, she’s just a great role model for me to look up to. She’s got the extra year of experience. Even though this is both of our first time at state, she’s had the experience at regional and sectionals. I was an underdog coming into all of that – I didn’t even make the regional roster last year. And so to advance with her is really, really nice.”
The Mustangs went from being the worst bowling team among the Valley schools three years ago, to the best – sending 4 individuals to sectionals, and two to state.
Anton talks about the process, “We’ve been working a lot more on spares than we have in the past and that really helped us a lot getting us up to where we are now.”
“It’s just been the support of my teammates and my coaches. They’ve just been extremely supportive and I’m just thankful for all they’ve done for me,” Olef adds.
With state now having come and gone and both players experiencing what the pinnacle of high school bowling has to offer… the future is bright.
Meredith Olef: Having this experience heading into next season, it’s going to really help me lead my teammates and guide them knowing what it takes to get there.
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