Wed, Dec 6, 2006 (7:12 a.m.)

Green Valley High varsity bowler Christina Conti gets high-fives from her teammates after picking up her fourth consecutive strike in a match against Silverado.


Who knew high school bowling even existed, with uniforms and hair ribbons and official Nevada Interscholastic Athletics Association score sheets and everything?

In a sport that brings to mind visions of beer, fried food and elastic waistbands hidden by sagging bellies, bowling has been given a shot of enthusiasm as a high school sport and is now considered the fastest-growing prep sport in the country.

"We all have nicknames. Me, I'm Klutzy, because when I bowl it looks like I'm going to fall down," Conti said.

Is that even possible on a surface so slick that it could make your overweight uncle from Omaha look like Astaire?

"Yeah, she fell twice last year," teammate Erika Mox said. "But she played it off all cool."

"People are surprised when they hear about it," fellow Gator Kristyn Hanson said. "Most people don't even know it exists."

Another indication of how far under the radar bowling teams are: Coach Corey Gehlken, who coaches both the women's and men's teams, was seen wearing a Green Valley baseball shirt.


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