Coach Millie Gomes and her Pearl City girls bowling squad just won a state championship last week and plans to celebrate at least twice — with a team barbecue and a trip to Aulani.
It was somewhat of a tough road on the way to the title, since the team only had five participants, including a girl who spent the past two seasons helping the team in many other ways than on the lanes.
To start this season, four veteran bowlers were back to lead the two-time defending champion Chargers. But you need five bowlers to compete.
That’s where Sasha Nomura-Calistro came in. She was what Gomes called her “secret weapon.”
Quiet by nature, according to Gomes, Nomura-Calistro came a long way this season.
“Last year, she wasn’t ready to compete and she would help carry the bags and stuff like that,” Gomes said. “She needed to work on her confidence (on the lanes).”
And that’s exactly what she did.
This year, Nomura-Calistro, a junior, placed 40th out of the 82 bowlers in the state championship last Friday at Hickam Bowling Center. She successfully transformed herself from nonstarter to the top 50 percent of the girls state bowling qualifiers.
And she has one more year to go.
If Nomura-Calistro continues to be a weapon for the Chargers next year, it won’t be a “secret” anymore.
“We had five girls,” Gomes said. “They clicked. They all got along and helped each other out.”
Other team members were sophomores Chelsi Morishige, who won the state individual title, Kylie Malilay-Madrona (ninth at states) and Kristin Frost (17th) and junior captain Ashlyn Castro (20th).
Printable results from the state championships: