Athletes in any sport try to peak for playoffs. Mikayla Eby did exactly that, and it carried her to a national championship.
The teen from Nanaimo’s Brechin Lanes, already B.C. champ, practised last month by facing her dad Shawn in match play three days before leaving for nationals in Toronto.
Not only did she roll a personal best of 378, but she made eight strikes in a row, winning a bet with her dad, who had promised her a trip to Disneyland if she could accomplish the feat.
So she was at the top of her game when she arrived in Ontario.
“I was very excited, but nervous,” she said. “You have lots of butterflies. It’s different than a normal bowling tournament.”
She’d represented B.C. before, so she knew some of what to expect. She remembered a particularly intimidating rival from Quebec, Maude Durand-Rondeau, and as it happened, the two girls each won the same number of games and had to throw down in a tiebreaker for gold.
“I knew if I went up and did my own shot and don’t let her get in my head, it was OK,” Eby said. “I threw my game and I didn’t worry about anything else, but before the game it was kind of nerve-wracking.”
By the ninth frame, it was settled, and Eby had won, becoming the first national champion in the history of Brechin Lanes. A gold medal, a banner and a trip to Disneyland – good things happen when a bowler gets on a roll at playoff time.