LIHUE — When Kapaa High School junior Dana Murata embarked on the Billy Tees Hawaii High School Athletic Association state bowling tournament, she just wanted to do better than she did during the 2018 tourney.
Contesting at the Kauai Bowl, Murata was the sole girl qualifier from Kapaa High School. During the 2018 tournament that was contested at Hickam Bowl, Murata finished 11th overall for the girls’ individualists.
“I just want to do better than last year,” Murata said during the wait before the state tournament. “Maybe I’ll finish eighth.”
But when the dust settled over the two-day tournament, Murata was announced as the top girls individual, finishing with an amassed 1,744 pinfall over eight games rolled in two days at Kauai Bowl.
“This is the first time Kauai has ever placed a bowler in the top spot,” said Collyne Murata, Dana’s mother, who was constant in her support of the 11th grade bowler. “This is exciting.”
Dana credits her win to the support she’s received over the years she’s bowled.
“The other bowlers were very supportive,” she said. “I made a lot of new friends. It was a good environment and very fun.”
During the first three games, Murata was No. 7, finishing the midway point at an even 600. But she put together a pair of 200-games — 257 in Game 4, and 258 in Game 5 — to finish the opening day jumping into the top spot with a 1,115 pinfall over the No. 2 finisher, Dynasty Aweau of Kapolei who rolled a five-game 995.
“All she needs to do is maintain in the next three games,” said Kapaa coach Kevin Gusman following an exhaustive opening day. “Control, and maintain.”
Dana did just that on the final day, rolling a 600-game — 211, 219, and 199 — to finish at 1745, more than a 100-pin advantage over the No. 2 finisher, Shaylynn Matas of Kapolei who posted a 1,642 eight-game total pinfall. Five pins back, Christine Madrona of Pearl City settled into the No. 3 spot, 10 pins ahead of Kapolei’s Aweau, who finished with a 1,627 for fourth place.
“I got a new ball,” Dana said. “That helped, too. Adam Apo worked real hard to drill the ball that was picked out by Waimea coach Todd Ozaki. The ball worked perfectly.”
Dana said her top win was made possible because of the support she received, including the supportive bowlers who rolled in her lane.
“My parents, Jeffrey and Collyne Murata have been supporting me since I started,” Dana said. “Coach James Cuaresma — he was my first bowling coach — was at the tournament giving me advice and tips; Coaches Joe Young Sr. and Kevin Gusman for being so supportive of my bowling; Coach Todd who worked so hard with me from the Blazing Bowlers program, and Lambert Apo and Dave Freeman who manage Kauai Bowl. They are the ones who made this happen.”
Kapaa bowler Zylan Pa-Conant also brought home hardware, finishing No. 12 in the boys individual with a 1,655 pinfall over eight games. Tylan Kim-Arellano of Kapolei High School topped the boys individual with a 1,845 pinfall, bettering his teammate Jake Brett who finished No. 3 with a 1,803 pinfall. Shaine Fuji of Pearl City filled in the No. 2 spot with a 1,841 pinfall.
The Waimea High School girls, the Kauai Interscholastic Federation representative to the state tournament, finished eighth for the girls’ team bowling that was captured by Iolani with a 7,387 pinfall. Waimea girls dropped 5,994 pins over eight games.
On the boys’ lanes, Kapaa High School, the KIF representative to the state tournament, finished sixth with a 7,293 pinfall in the team competition that was captured by Campbell High School winning its first state title on a 7,958 pinfall over St. Louis (7,929) during the Kauai Bowl State Tournament.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer, and a photographer can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.