Centerville grad notches runner-up finish in U.S. High School Bowling National Championship

Brendan Salo was runner-up in the boys' singles competition at the U.S. High School Bowling National Championship - Contributed

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Brendan Salo was runner-up in the boys' singles competition at the U.S. High School Bowling National Championship - Contributed

Elks second in team competition

Brendan Salo was on the bubble most of the day, but he never lost sight of his goal.

“I knew if I didn’t shoot well, any game, I’m cut,” the recent Centerville High School graduate said. “But I kept thinking, ‘I’ve got this.’”

And he did.

Salo steadily climbed the standings from 30th to fourth to qualify for the boys’ individual finals at the U.S. High School Bowling National Championship in Louisville on Monday. Salo fell short of his championship goal but was pleased with second place from a field 354 competitive bowlers from across the country. Kian Pryor, of Oregon, defeated Salo, 247-225, in the title match.

“Getting to the title match was a win,” Salo said. “It was definitely one of the top 3 moments of my bowling career.”

Salo wasn’t the only Elks bowler to earn hardware at the national championship as the Centerville team of Nolan Caban, Anthony Conty, Jake Hamrick, Zach Hamrick, Cole Gregory, Casey Lippincott, Vedanta Maladkar and Salo placed second to M.P. Harlem High School, of Illinois, in the boys’ team competition Saturday.

“They gutted it out all day,” Centerville coach Andy Parker said. “Unfortunately, we had our worst set in the finals. We just didn’t execute well.”

The Elks have been a dominant force in recent years at the U.S. High School Bowling National Championship, winning the title in 2021 and earning runner-up honors twice in the past three years.

“I was extremely proud of them, it was a great showing,” Parker said.

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The Centerville boys team of (back row l to r) coach Jeff Rezabek, Cole Gregory, Nolan Caban, Jake Hamrick, coach Andy Parker and (front row) Vedanta Maladkar, Brendan Salo, Anthony Conty, Zach Hamrick and Casey Lippincott finished second at the U.S. High School Bowling National Championship - Contributed

The Centerville boys team of (back row l to r) coach Jeff Rezabek, Cole Gregory, Nolan Caban, Jake Hamrick, coach Andy Parker and (front row) Vedanta Maladkar, Brendan Salo, Anthony Conty, Zach Hamrick and Casey Lippincott finished second at the U.S. High School Bowling National Championship - Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
The Centerville boys team of (back row l to r) coach Jeff Rezabek, Cole Gregory, Nolan Caban, Jake Hamrick, coach Andy Parker and (front row) Vedanta Maladkar, Brendan Salo, Anthony Conty, Zach Hamrick and Casey Lippincott finished second at the U.S. High School Bowling National Championship - Contributed

The Elks had more to battle than their opponents as their endurance was also put to the test. The Centerville squad didn’t wrap up their final match until well after midnight and was back on the lanes by 8 a.m. Sunday for the individual competition.

“I kind of felt like I was in a haze for the first four games,” Salo said.

Five of the six individual Centerville bowlers made the initial cut from 354 to 180 to advance to Monday. They all made the first cut Monday with Gregory, Maladkar and Salo then moving into the top 40. Conty finished 64th and Lippincott was 68th. Maladkar and Gregory finished 33rd and 36th, respectively.

It was a rewarding season finale for Parker – who is leaving the Centerville program – and Salo, and Conty, who both graduated. And the future remains bright for an Elks team that returns a solid core of tournament-tested bowlers.

“I hope Anthony and I showed the young guys what they need to do,” Salo said. “How to fight and prepare for the big moments.”

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