By MICHAEL CARNES
For the Herald
LINCOLN — Wayne High senior Jersi Jensen made a little history Monday afternoon at Sun Valley Lanes.
The Wayne High senior secured her second straight Class B singles title at the Nebraska State Bowling Championships with a 392-325 win over Faith Lahm of Grand Island Northwest.
The Blue Devil senior made school history with the win, becoming the first Wayne High athlete to win a state title in four consecutive years in one sport. She was part of the first two teams that won the state title in 2021 and 2022, and was the singles champion and part of the Class B title team last year. She capped her career Tuesday by throwing the final ball to finish the Baker competition late Tuesday night.
Jensen was one of five Wayne High bowlers involved in singles competition, four of which advanced to the eight-man knockout round. Jensen, the top seed in the girls bracket, was joined by third-seeded Lindsay Niemann, who was upset in the first round by Lorena Mishler of Elkhorn, 641-621 in a two-game series. Jensen advanced with a 689-603 opening-round win over Daisy Gomez of Lexington.
In the semifinals, Jensen defeated Kynzee McFadden of Lincoln Northwest 352-342 to move on to the finals.
In the finals, Jensen won the first game by 30 pins and was never threatened after that, winning the second game 193-156 to finish off the 67-pin victory.
“It feels good,” a relieved Jensen said after winning the singles title Monday. “I’m still amazed I was actually able to do it back-to-back.”
Jensen admitted she felt the pressure of being a defending state champion and being the first in state history to defend a singles title.
“It felt like there was a target on my back, but if I did what I had to do I’d be fine and that’s what I did.”
Coach Josh Johnson sang the praises of his senior bowler. “it was a wonderful thing,” he said. “She’s had that pressure on her all year and all day it was everyone was watching her and she got it done. It’s great for her and great for the program.”
Johnson said that Jensen did a good job of getting some marks early and putting the pressure on her opponent.
“She stayed solid throughout the day and didn’t have any highs or lows, and she did a great job of getting out early and getting spares and strikes, which put a lot of pressure on her opponents to catch up,” he said. “The Northwest girl threw a really nice ball and I thought if she got hot that she’d get a big game, but keeping the pressure on her was huge.”
Jensen bowled a four-game total of 689 in the qualifying round (167-160-218-144), while Niemann recorded a 641 in her four-game series (170-143-156-172). Nina Hammer missed the top eight qualifiers, finishing 21st with a 507 (130-117-136-124).
In boys action, two of Wayne’s boys qualified for the eight-spot bracket as Aiden Petersen was seeded fifth and Konnor Kai sixth. Petersen qualified with a four-game