Keith Shimada / Special to the Home News
Friday, Jan. 16, 2009 | midnight
Bonanza's top male and female bowlers are looking to beat the best the state has to offer and win the state championships.
But first, they'd like to top each other.
Nick Lamek and Hannah Chipman have both bowled since the age of 4 and grew up playing in youth leagues together. Now seniors, the two are friends at school but competitive whenever they visit the lanes.
"There is a lot of friendly competition between us," Lamek said. "We always want to be better than one another. Neither of us want to lose to one another. It's fun competing against someone that's the same caliber as you."
Chipman said she and Lamek make each other better bowlers.
"If we're neck and neck in scores then sometimes we make it fun and see who can beat who," Chipman said. "It's really remarkable how far we've come since we were little and how much better we are now."
Both bowlers are among the most accomplished in the state at the high school level.
Lamek has been the anchor for the Bonanza boys team all four years. He currently averages 205. As a junior last year, he led the state with a 215 average.
"That felt really good," Lamek said. "I knew I was near the top, but I didn't think I would be at the top because there is a lot of good bowlers on the other side of town. Just to know I consistently bowled well enough to be better than them, it felt really good."
Chipman, meanwhile, is off to a breakout season. She is averaging 210 after averaging 195 a year ago. This fall, Chipman was offered a bowling scholarship to McKendree University in Illinois. But she turned it down in favor of attending UNLV.
"It was a good scholarship," Chipman said. "It is very rare to be offered a bowling scholarship. It was a huge honor, but I'd rather stay home for college."
Like Chipman, Lamek will also be attending UNLV. Both plan on trying out for the Rebels' club bowling team.
Bonanza's girls team is undefeated at 8-0 while the boys team is 6-2.
"We're off to an amazing start," Chipman said. "There is some extreme motivation to win it now because some girls that have done well at state the past three years are graduated. I believe it's our time to shine, and I believe we can take it."
Bonanza coach Patrick Herbert said the key to both the boys and girls teams' success depends on Chipman and Lamek.
"It's just a blessing having them both," Herbert said. "They're kind of the mouthpiece with all the other members of the team, so when they say something, everybody else does it and they don't question it."
Christopher Drexel can be reached at 990-8929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.