17-year-old strikes down the competition at national bowling tournament

Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 6:01 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -A 17-year-old from Eau Claire rolled over the competition at the national bowling tournament where he took home the prize and now he’s looking to strike again.

High school senior Trae Henrichsmeyer has had a bowling ball in his hand since he was 2 years old and now his growing passion for bowling is taking him all the way to Portland, ME where he hopes to take home another win on national television.

“My earliest memory I would say accomplishment wise would be whenever I ended up making money and placing at state when I was about 7 years old,” Henrichsmeyer said.

Henrichmeyer’s mom, Sam Zappa, recalls him bowling at an even younger age.

“He was about 2 years old and he and his brother were just getting restless in the house as toddlers,” Zappa said. “We were like okay what can we do as a family to get them out of the house and burn some energy, so we took them bowling.”

Since then, Henrichsmeyer’s passion for bowling has only grown, leading him to join leagues, a high school team, and compete individually. He said he really got into tournaments within the last two years. This inspired him to compete in the PBA League Bowler Certification National Championship at Bowlero Wauwatosa in Wauwatosa, WI.

“You bowl six games, and you take your total pins and high score wins,” Henrichsmeyer said. “I ended up doing very well and taking the lead and taking the win.”

He won the national tournament and received the prize of a $25,000 scholarship as well as, qualifying for an even bigger tournament where he will have a chance to win a $60,000 scholarship on national tv.

“I’m more excited than anything just for the opportunity,” Henrichsmenyer said. “I think it will be cool just to experience that, especially at such a young age.”

Although he enjoys winning, Henrichsymeyer’s ability to strike down the competition at tournaments is no easy feat. He said he practices three to four times a week with tournaments on weekends. Not to mention he’s still in high school.

“He’s approaching his senior year of high school,” Zappa said. He started out in his district with our local technical college and he’s following this specific course program that the partnership that the schools have together and he will graduate high school with an associates degree in business management.”

Despite the time commitment Henrichsmeyer plans to pursue his passion even further.

“That is my main goal is to do that for a profession,” Henrichsmeyer said.  “I’m looking to bowl for a living, to bowl in college so, that’s kind of my goal to bowl for a living.”

Henrichsmeyer will travel to Portland, ME, and bowl in the qualifying portion of the national tournament on Friday, Sept. 22. He said you can follow his journey via his social media. You can find him on Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram.