Harlem celebrates its high school bowling national champions

MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) It's no secret that some of the best high school bowling is right here in the Stateline and the rest of the country is quickly finding that out as well.

The Lady Huskies won their third consecutive national championship this weekend in Indianapolis, just four months after Harlem missed out on a three-peat at state.

On the boys side, the 2019 state champs took third at nationals, while senior Noah Mandujano won the individual crown. Harlem now has a singles national champion from both squads after Kayla Verstraete won it a year ago.

The head coaches from each team say the push each other to be better and the results show.

"Just preaching to them to feed off each other," said boys coach Nick Whitmire. "Even when there's not a lot of other teams in competition around us, we could feed off each other and both strive to be the best that we can be. As far as this group of seniors goes right here, it's one of the best ones I've seen, boys and girls combined."

"It's definitely the best run I can even imagine having," said girls coach Jim Heathscott. "As far as going back up against 99, 2000, 2001, I don't know. I mean, 2011 was pretty good too. So, can't really say. Equipment changes, lanes change, kids change, but yeah, they're pretty good."