Simley High School alumni selected for Team USA Bowling

Simley High School alumni, siblings Nick and Lauren Pate, competed in bowling trials last month and were selected for Team USA. 

The Pates, who grew up in Inver Grove Heights, started bowling at a young age because so many of their relatives enjoyed the sport.

During their time at Simley, both competed on the bowling team and earned top honors. Nick was named to the All-Conference Team four years in a row and won first place at the state competition his junior year, earning a scholarship for Midland University in Fremont, Neb., where he studies psychology and is a member of the men’s bowling team. 

Lauren was named to the All-State Team throughout high school, placed third in state during her sophomore year, and placed second in state during her senior year. She earned a bowling scholarship to McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., where she studies sociology with a social work emphasis. Not long into her college career, she was voted the Division II/III Rookie of the Year by the collegiate women’s bowling organization Ten Pin Coaches Association. 

Lauren was chosen for the Girls Junior Team USA, which only accepts bowlers age 20 and younger. She competed against 63 others at the Girls Junior trials.

Nick far surpassed his goal, placing seventh among all 169 male bowlers. He earned a spot on the Men’s Amateur Team USA, one level before the Professional Team USA. 

“It still hasn’t sunk in,” he said. “It’s truly an honor to be selected to represent the United States for bowling.”

After competing at trials in past years, Nick and Lauren had their individual strategies ready. Nick aimed to rank 20th each day. He planned to build on that for the 2018 trials after he graduated from college and had more time to work on his bowling. 

Lauren said she blocked distractions. “I focused more on myself than what was happening around me this year. I kept telling myself to make the best shots I could and not worry about the scores.”

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