Marengo assistant coach Becca Czlapinski saw an intense, focused competitor in Dani Hartmann at last weekend’s IHSA Kaneland Girls Bowling Sectional.
Hartmann rolled only one game of fewer than 200 pins, a 193, and finished at 1,277 at DeKalb’s Mardi Gras Lanes to take the second individual qualifying spot for the state tournament. And it happened in a week where she missed two days of school with the flu.
“I had two days of practice after I came back,” Hartmann said. “I was really focused through the whole day. That helped a lot.”
Hartmann is no stranger to state competition. She was a freshman third baseman on the Indians’ 2017 softball team that won the Class 3A state championship. She still is relatively new to bowling, having taken up the sport two years ago.
Hartmann is the only area competitor at the IHSA Girls Bowling State Tournament Friday and Saturday at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford. She rolled games of 225, 202, 237, 211, 193 and 209 at the sectional.
Czlapinski thinks Hartmann raised her average by 15 pins a game this season. Hartmann and Olivia Pribyl were the Indians’ top bowlers all season.
Czlapinski, who is the Marengo boys bowling head coach and her father, Phil’s, assistant with the girls team, marvels at Hartmann’s progress.
“The transformation she made in one season was unbelievable to watch,” Czlapinski said. “I want to gloat about her so bad. She’s just a competitor. She’s not the greatest bowler out there, but she wants to win all the time. She was super in the zone this week. We saw a different side of her. She was very in tune with what was going on and very, very focused.”
Hartmann said teamwork she learned in softball helps her in her second sport.
“That translates through relationships,” she said. “Softball is a lot of teamwork, and that translates to bowling and leadership skills. I have a competitive spirit. That helps me a lot when it comes to these situations.”
Hartmann made an impression with Marengo softball coach Dwain Nance, who used to coach the bowling team, as a freshman. She was used in the flex position (and often was hit for) and played third base for the state championship team.
“It was really cool,” Hartmann said. “I knew a lot of the girls through travel experience. There were really good leaders on that team, and it showed me a lot.”
Hartmann plans on attending Illinois State University and is considering walking on for the Redbirds’ softball team.
She said the Czlapinskis had a big effect on her regarding bowling.
“They have a passion for bowling, and that inspired me [to improve],” Hartmann said. “I’m just excited. I hope to have a lot of fun and hope that translates to good bowling.”