BARRINGTON – Bowling is a sport that doesn’t get a lot of attention, and some people consider it not to be a sport at all. If Barrington High School freshman Sarah Tenyer has anything to do with it, people around town are going to know that the school has a bowling team sooner rather than later.
Tenyer advanced out of the regionals this season, and while she didn’t make it to the state tournament, Tenyer showed that there is something to build on for the future. There are some obstacles Tenyer must face before becoming a bowling star for the Fillies, though.
There are no bowling alleys in Barrington, so Tenyer does her training at Beverly Lanes in Arlington Heights. During the season, she practices three days a week and bowls about 12 games a week. The Mid Suburban League bowls all the league matches at Arlington Lanes, which is where the league tournament and the regional tournament were conducted.
Tenyer led the regional tournament after five games, but faltered some in the final game. Her score was enough to move onto the sectionals where she would finish 18th even after bowling a career-high 266. She has bowled a 716 series in the past and even had a 2,005 pinfall 10-game series while in elementary school. Tenyer said getting out of regionals was a big accomplishment during her freshman year.
“I felt I did well,” Tenyer said. “This was my first year participating in the Mid-Suburban League. I was happy to make All-Conference and to also end with the fourth-highest average in the conference. I went in just wanting to do my best. It meant a lot that I was able to advance that far.”
Tenyer is getting some help from one of the best women’s bowlers around in former professional Diandra Asbaty, who Tenyer looks up to.
“She is a professional bowler whose style I really like,”Tenyer said. “She won the Queens championship in 2012 and lives right here in the Chicago area. I have been lucky enough to work with her from time to time.”
Asbaty, who is the founder and owner of the Elite Youth Tour and the International Art of Bowling – along with fellow bowler Jason Belmonte – said that Tenyer has a bright future in the game.
“Sarah is a natural talent. She takes instruction well and really loves to learn,” Asbaty said. “I focused on a lot of fundamentals with her to give her a really great, strong foundation. Without a strong foundation, it’s hard to step up your game to the next level. I love her attitude and ability to take what I have to say and translate it quickly into her game.”
The team concept of high school bowling is something that isn’t lost on Asbaty and she wishes that she would have had the same opportunities that Tenyer has now when she was in high school moving forward in her career.
“High school bowling is a shining light in bowling,” Asbaty added. “When I was in high school, we didn’t have a school team so the first time I really saw team bowling was in college. The advantage that these high school bowlers have going into college now is great. They know what it’s like to be on a team, and work as a team. This gets them ready for college bowling, which I think is the epitome of team bowling.”
Barrington coach Sam Raia knew what he had coming after meeting Tenyer a few years before she got to the high school level.
“I first met Sarah when she was a quiet, shy sixth grader who could really throw a bowling ball,” Raia said. “I expected Sarah to come in and post some good scores and help the team while she continued to improve her game. I got much more.”
Tenyer’s bowling has brought some new eyes to the sport and Raia hopes that it will bring more girls out for the team in the coming years.
“Hopefully they will come out, join Sarah and make us a team that can compete for a conference title and ultimately a run at a state championship,” Raia said.